Chinese carmaker Chery says still mulling investment in Turkiye

Chinese carmaker Chery has not completely scrapped plans for an investment in Türkiye, one of the company’s top executives has said.

Despite the strong sales numbers in the Turkish car market, Chery chose Spain to make its first investment in Europe which led to speculations the Chinese carmaker shelved investment plans for Türkiye.

The investment in Spain does not mean it won’t happen in Türkiye, Zhang Guibing, the general manager of Chery International, told Turkish reporters at the company’s headquarters in the Chinese city of Wuhu.

Asked why Chery chose Spain over Türkiye for investment even though the company sees good sales figures in the Turkish market, Zhang suggested that Türkiye is still on the carmaker’s radar for a possible investment.

Recently executives from the company, including Fenghou Si, the president of Chery Türkiye,had talks with Turkish officials, Zhang said.

“Investment is a big and a long-term project. We want a deal which satisfies both sides. That’s why we are continuing to conduct talks,” he added.

Due to its geographical location, Spain can focus on the European market, while a factory in Türkiye may become a center supplying both Europe and the Middle East, he said.

Last month the company announced that it would manufacture its Omoda cars in Nissan’s former plant in Spain.

Chery will first invest in an R&D facility in Türkiye, Zhang said, noting that they are looking for a location.

“Türkiye is an important and one of our largest markets. We need to understand our customers here. We are conducting studies, we need to have an R&D center here,” he explained.

“We have a lot do in Türkiye,” said Yin Tongyue, the chairman of Chery Automobile, referring to the possible factory investment and the planned R&D center.

Chery sold 1.9 million cars last year, which made it the second largest brand in China, according to Yin.

“Türkiye with its strategic geopolitical location is an important part of the company’s plans. We are acting very carefully and selecting our investments accordingly,” he furthered.

Chery has long-term plans for Türkiye, that’s why new rules announced by the Turkish Trade Ministry last year regarding EV imports does not adversely affect their plans, Zhang said.

According to those rules, companies importing EVs must have authorized service stations in seven regions of the country.

Imports from the EU and countries having free-trade agreements with Türkiye are exempt from the decree.

Chery has sold more than 60,000 SUVs since it entered the Turkish market one-and-a-half years ago.

In the first four months of 2024, Chery sold a total of 20,782 vehicles in Türkiye.

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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