China's Geely to Build Auto Venture in Russia

2008 production target of 10,000 vehicles

Geely, a Chinese homegrown private car maker, said Nov. 26 it would set up a production joint venture in Russia, in an apparent revival of a business after a plan was shelved last year. Last December Geely announced it would supply auto parts and technology to assemble its cars in a Russian factory, but the proposal was grounded when Russia stopped approving foreign assembly lines in September.

"This is another (plan)," Chen Xihui, an executive at Geely headquarters in eastern China's Hangzhou city said.

Chen declined to give further details, but a report on Nov. 23 by the state-run Shanghai Securities News said that the company aimed to kick off production in 2008 with a target output of 10,000 vehicles.

Geely, one of China's smaller privately funded auto makers that has managed to make its mark in the cutthroat domestic industry, wants to expand overseas with plants in Central America and Africa. It is currently in talks with local partners about selling cars there, which could be secured in 2008, according to the newspaper.

Earlier this month Geely signed a deal with the Rolf Group of Moscow to sell an average 30,000 cars in Russia every year, according to the official Xinhua news agency. It aims to double its overseas sales to 20,000 cars this year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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