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Localization helps Chinese car makers thrive in LatAm

Staff writer |
"Locals make up about 70 percent of our employees, and we are expanding presence along the industrial chain to become more localized," said Peng Jian, general manager of Chinese carmaker Chery in Brazil.

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Chery opened its first wholly owned plant overseas last August in Jacarei, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in a landmark step in its global strategy.

The Chery subsidiary, with a total investment of $400 million, produces cars and engines. Geared to full capacity after the completion of phase 2, the plant will be able to produce 150,000 cars per year, tripling the present capacity. The project will create 3,000 jobs, as much as 90 percent of which will go to Brazilians, said Chery.

Chery has also set up 75 car sales and service centers in Brazil in addition to a research center to be built with an input of $22.3 million.

Localization is making Chinese carmaker pioneers thrive in production capacity cooperation between China and Latin America.

Brazil, as the world's fourth-largest automobile market and the sixth-largest auto manufacturer, has attracted the General Motors of the Unites States, among other carmakers, to come and open plants.

Chery, founded in 1997, exported 110,000 units last year, marking its 12th consecutive year as China's biggest exporter.

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