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BAIC expects S African plant to roll out 50,000 units in 2019

By Zhong Nan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-07-25 19:40
Guests pose besides the BAIC X25 produced by BAIC South Africa. [Photo/people.cn]

Beijing Automotive Industry Corp, or BAIC, one of China's five major automakers, is expected to have an annual production capacity of 50,000 units in its South Africa plant by the end of 2019, said its top executive.

The plant is a joint venture between BAIC and South Africa's state-owned Industrial Development Corporation, with planned investment of $800 million.

BAIC aims to supply automobiles, including passenger vehicles, trucks and SUVs, from this manufacturing facility, not only to South African market, but the whole Africa in the long run.

Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC, said the plant has generated 1,500 jobs in the first phase and is expected to create another 2,500 by the final completion of the project.

Eager to further enhance its earning ability in Africa, BAIC rolled the first car off the production line – an X25 compact SUV in its South African plant close to shipping hub of Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

The factory located in the Coega Special Economic Zone was launched in August 2016. It is scheduled to have the capacity of assembly, painting and welding by the end of 2019.

Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC, speaks at the ceremony. [Photo/people.cn]

Xu described the business ties between South Africa and China as one of "golden cooperation", which ensures the realization of prosperity through BRICS cooperation.

"We should make full use of our opportunities ahead and comparative advantages to reach a win-win situation," Xu said at the ceremony to celebrate the event.

IDC Chairperson Busi Mabuza said by working together, China and South Africa are demonstrating the value that closer ties and greater cooperation can deliver.

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