Great Wall Motors entering Brazil with US$2bn investment
Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors (GWM) has announced 10 billion reais (US$1.93bn) in vehicle production investments in Brazil over the next decade.
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Starting in 2023, the company is planning to produce 100,000 vehicles per year from the state of Sao Paulo, using a factory previously owned by Mercedes Benz in the city of Iracemápolis. Approximately 4bn reais will be invested by 2025 and another 6bn reais by 2032, according to local media reports.
A large part of the automakers focus will be on producing electric vehicles (EV) with new technologies such as facial recognition and artificial intelligence (AI). The company is also boasting ADAS features like automatic braking and other 5G capable semi-autonomous technologies.
One possible model which could cause a stir-up is a look-alike of the Volkswagen Beetle which has been registered with Brazil’s industrial property institute, INPI.
Registered under GWM subsidiary nameplate ORA, the model could be known as the ORA Punk Cat or Euler Ballet Cat, the former which was displayed at the 2021 Shanghai auto show.
ORA Punk Cat (left) and ORA Ballet Cat (right), courtesy of Great Wall Motors
Although it resembles the Beetle, it has four doors and it is 100% electric. No confirmation as to its production has been reported but this is unlikely to sit well with Volkswagen.
ORA also has its conventional subcompact hatch Adora which is already being produced in China. It is a competitor of the Chery EQ1 and, according to Brazil news portal Terra, there is a chance that the Adora could be produced by CAOA Chery, the Brazil unit of Chinese automaker Chery.
ORA Adora (source: Great Wall Motors)
Meanwhile, ORA has other EVs in its arsenal such as the more aerodynamic Hao Mao and the Lighting Cat sports model which looks a bit like a Porsche Panamera.
ORA Hao Mao (left) and Lightning Cat (right), courtesy of Great Wall Motors
Pickups and SUVs
As for this segment, Great Wall Motors is very strong in China. Besides the Haval H6 SUV, the company boasts its mid-sized pickup Poer which was most recently registered with INPI under the name of Cannon (pictured above).
Haval H6 (source: Great Wall Motors)
Created in 1984, Great Wall Motors has a market value of approximately US$77 billion. Besides CAOA Chery, other Chinese manufacturers competing in the Brazilian market are BYD and JAC Motors.