sales numbers, new factories, mergers, take overs, government regulations, laws

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Lamborghini to unveil SUV concept at Beijing Auto Show in April

February 22, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Businessweek reports that Lamborghini will unveil a SUV concept at the Beijing Auto Show in April. The production version ‘may be’ available by 2016. Businessweek got the news from ‘a person familiar with the Sant’Agata Bolognese-based company’s plans who declined to be identified’.

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Bulgaria opens Great Wall car plant, hopes for more Chinese investments

February 22, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Great Wall Bulgaria factory opening

L-R: Chinese Ambassador to Bulgaria Guo Yezhou, Litex Motors owner Grisha Ganchev, Great Wall CEO Wang Feng Ying, Bulgarian PM Borisov, Bulgarian EconMin Traikov at the Litex Motors factory opening.

Bulgaria has formally launched of mass production of cars under the Chinese Great Wall badge by Litex Motors near the northern city of Lovech.

The car manufacturing plant near Lovech comes to life seventeen years after Bulgaria’s last failed attempt to revive its automobile industry. The first car of the Chinese company Great Wall assembled near Bulgaria’s Lovech was rolled out in the middle of November 2011.

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Great Wall Motor opens factory in Bulgaria

February 22, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Great Wall Bulgaria

Great Wall Motor has become the first Chinese carmaker to open an assembly plant in Europe as it aims to lift sales in the region. The factory, in the northern village of Bahovitsa in Bulgaria, will eventually produce 50,000 vehicles a year.

The facility was built together with Great Wall’s Bulgarian partner Litex Motors. It will manufacture Great Wall’s Hover SUV, Steed pick-up and Voleex city car models.

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Volvo sets up joint venture with its owner, Geely

February 21, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Volvo Geely joint venture

Volvo Car will form a carmaking venture with majority shareholder Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., as part of plans to expand in the world’s largest vehicle market. Volvo will announce “concrete details” about the joint venture in about two months, Michael Ning, a Beijing-based spokesman for the company, said in a phone interview today.

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Lamborghini says: supercar sales in China may slow

February 21, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Lamborghini China

Lamborghini, maker of the $1 million Aventador LP 700-4, said industry sales of ultra-luxury sports cars may slow as signs that China’s economy is weakening puts off some buyers.

“If you look at the economy right now, there may be some uncertainty to make people wait a little,” Christian Mastro, Lamborghini’s Asia Pacific general manager, said in a phone interview on Feb. 16. “The number of people able to spend this kind of money is limited, it’s not unlimited.”

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China’s Youngman bids for Saab, once Again

February 20, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Saab China

Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile has made a 3 billion crowns ($446 million) offer for bankrupt Swedish carmaker Saab which has drawn a cool response from receivers, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Friday.

The receivers want bids for parts of Saab rather than the whole business as that would raise more for creditors, the source said. Saab was declared bankrupt last December after months of efforts to keep it afloat by owner Swedish Automobile.

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Daimler-Foton to start making trucks in China in Q3

February 20, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Daimler’s Chinese truck joint venture with Beiqi Foton Motor Co. will produce its first vehicle in the third quarter this year, the German auto maker said Saturday.

The joint venture “will enable us to play a major role in the Chinese truck market and give us access to the attractive volume segment,” Daimler truck chief Andreas Renschler said in a statement.

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Renault wants to make electric cars in China

February 20, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Renault China EV

French auto giant Renault aims to produce electric cars in China and sell more luxury vehicles in the world’s biggest auto market, its chief executive says.

‘The Chinese government said recently that it is not possible to increase capacities or set up in China without bringing certain innovations,’ noted Ghosn during a conference with analysts on the group’s annual earnings.

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Dongfeng minitruck starts production in Thailand

February 17, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Dongfeng Xiao Kang

The Dongfeng Xiao Kang, a well-known minitruck model of China, has been put into mass production in Thailand to address rising local demand, the company announced on Thursday.

The factory, located in Gateway Industrial Estate in Cha Choeng Sao province, is estimated to produce 5,000 units of minitrucks per year, Pitaya Tanadamrongsak, managing director of DFM minitruck (Thailand), Dongfeng Motor’s exclusive dealer in the country.

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Update: Citroen denies it can’t find DS-dealers in China, says it has 13

February 17, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Citroen DS China

PSA Peugeot Citroen’s car venture in southern China said on Thursday that it is on schedule to bring its DS models to China in the second quarter, denying a media report that claimed otherwise. Changan PSA Automobile (CAPSA) plans to open 16 dealership outlets in China initially and 13 are already under construction, it said in a statement.

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