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Geely to start assembly of EC7 in Egypt

HANGZHOU, Zhejiang — Geely Holding Group has signed an agreement with GB Auto, a Cairo-listed auto assembler, to assemble cars from the Chinese automaker in Egypt, according to media reports.

Geely PR Director Yang Xueliang was quoted by Caijing.com as saying that the first model produced in Egypt will be the Emgrand EC7, which is expected to begin production in July this year, with initial annual output capacity of 30,000 units.

GB Auto has been selling Geely products including the Panda and Emgrand series cars.

GB Auto, as the Middle East’s largest car assembler, controls 32 percent of the Egyptian passenger car market, where it rose to success as the exclusive local assembler, importer and distributor of cars from South Korea’s Hyundai.

For Geely, the Egyptian deal is another step in efforts to push its products out across the world, after announcing last year that it would set up a production hub in Indonesia to target the fast-growing Southeast Asian market. The company plans on selling at least one model in the UK by the end of 2012.

Geely exported 38,000 vehicles in 2011, up 78 percent year-on-year.

In related news regarding local production of Volvo,  Yang revealed that Geely and Volvo plan to establish a 50:50 joint venture according to current regulations as Volvo is a foreign brand, even though Geely is its exclusive owner.

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