TULA, Russia – Great Wall Motor’s SUV brand Haval has launched the inaugural round of production for the highly anticipated Haval F7 SUV in the brand’s new factory in Tula, Russia.
The production of the Haval F7 marks a significant milestone as the F7 is automaker’s first full-process mass-produced vehicle manufactured overseas. The Haval F7 is also the first vehicle to leverage Chinese research and development on a multinational scale with full-process production conducted both in China and Russia, ushering in Haval’s Globalization 3.0 era.
With a total investment of $500 million, the Tula factory, which broke ground in August 2014, is Great Wall Motor’s largest overseas investment project to date. Having an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles, the factory covers all production stages including pressing, welding, painting and integrated assembly. The factory also has parts on-site and quality control will be conducted locally.
In line with Haval’s vision to localize 65 percent of production, over 90 percent of the plant’s 800 employees are local and is expected to grow to 1,500 by June 2019. As Tula’s most significant industrial project, the factory will boost the local economy by $430 million forecasted in domestic revenue and taxes. Products from the factory will also be exported to neighboring countries, bolstering Tula’s foreign exchange income.
Located in Uzlova Industrial Park in Tula, Russia, the factory is strategically positioned near Russian economic hubs including Tula, New Moscow and Moscow. Haval’s factory will service as a base for development into Central Asian and Eastern European markets, including the adjacent countries of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Moldova.
“With the Tula Factory, we are helping stimulate local economic development as part of the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Wei Jianjun, chairman of Great Wall Motor. “I believe our globalization strategy has the potential to go beyond opening international markets – it will propel Haval to be a key player on the global auto stage.”
After 15 years of development, the Russian market has become one of the mature overseas markets for the Haval brand. Currently, the Haval brand vehicle parc in the Russian market has exceeded 100,000 units, and Haval brand dealerships in Russia had reached 35 by the end of 2018, which will double to around 70 in 2019 as planned.
Great Wall Motor sold 367,680 vehicles in the first four months of the year, an increase of 8.65 percent from last year. Sales of Haval brand SUVs in the period reached 264,482 units, and cumulative sales of the Haval F series SUVs have surpassed 100,000 units since its launch to the market last year, becoming a new selling point of the Haval brand.