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Great Wall Motor to Enter More European Countries, Plans to Build Local R&D Center, Report Says

CnEVPost ·  11/27/2023 11:08

After Germany and the UK, Great Wall Motor plans to expand its presence in Europe to eight additional countries including Italy and Spain, according to local media.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Great Wall Motor plans to expand its presence in Europe despite facing hurdles including an anti-subsidy investigation.

After Germany and the UK, Great Wall Motor plans to further expand its presence there to eight additional new markets, local media outlet Sina Tech said in a report today.

Those eight new European markets are Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland, according to the report.

Great Wall Motor's overseas brand, GWM, has initiated planning for local production and sales in Europe, beginning the process of selecting a site for a research and development center, the report said.

In European countries including Germany, the UK, Ireland and Sweden, GWM has already established relationships with local partners, and agreements with partners in other markets are in the pipeline, the report said.

There are two main models chosen by Chinese automakers when entering overseas markets -- exporting products abroad and manufacturing and selling them locally. Great Wall Motor has chosen the second model, which involves a greater investment of resources but is also more conducive to its long-term growth in the local markets, the report noted.

In late November 2021, Great Wall Motor said it opened a German subsidiary and established a European headquarters in Munich as a center for developing the European market to accelerate its expansion strategy there.

The establishment of the European headquarters would strengthen Great Wall Motor's collaboration with suppliers, including investments in companies up and down the supply chain, Great Wall Motor said at the time.

At the Paris Motor Show in October 2022, Great Wall Motor showcased a number of models, including the Coffee 01 and Coffee 02, and made the Coffee 01 available in Europe.

Notably, the European Union formally launched an anti-subsidy investigation into electric vehicles (EVs) from China in October, putting new hurdles in front of Chinese carmakers trying to get in there.

The investigation will be concluded within a maximum of 13 months of its launch, and any provisional anti-subsidy duties can be levied within nine months of the launch if there is a legal basis to do so, the European Commission said earlier.

Great Wall Motor was the first to respond on October 11 when it made a submission to the European Commission, the company's president, Mu Feng, said on October 23 on Weibo.

Chinese cars will face bumps in entering overseas markets, but Great Wall Motor will be steadfast and accelerate its entry, he said at the time.

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