MOSCOW – Beiqi-Foton Automobile Co., Ltd., China’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, will assemble self-branded vehicles in Russia starting at the end of 2010, and will establish a manufacturing base with an annual output of 100,000 units there in 2012.
With Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong present, the automaker signed a cooperation memorandum with the Moscow municipal government to establish a European auto business department of Beiqi-Foton, which will be in charge of its auto sales, R&D and investment in Europe.
Beiqi-Foto’s choice of Russia as its global strategic base is due to the fact that the country was the first major destination for Chinese automobile exports in a few years before the financial crisis in 2008, and the Russian market is of primary important to the Chinese automakers today, said Dong Haiyang, vice president of Beiqi-Foton and general manager of the company’s overseas business department.
The expansion in Russia is a part of Beiqi-Foto’s 2011-2015 Five-Year Plan. The automaker plans to build factories in five developing countries, including Russia, Brazil, Mexico, India and Thailand by 2015.
It also expects to develop business in Europe, North America and Japan, while boosting vehicle sales in China, according to Wang Jinyu, president of Beiqi-Foton.
Wang said that the company entered the Russian market in 2005 and had exported more than 10,000 commercial vehicles there as of the end of 2008.