Chinese Automaker Opens Plant In Bulgaria

Great Wall Motors has launched operations in Bulgaria, becoming the first Chinese automaker to assemble cars in the European Union.

BAHOVITSA, Bulgaria (AP) -- Great Wall Motors has launched operations in Bulgaria, becoming the first Chinese automaker to assemble cars in the European Union.

At a posh ceremony in this village Tuesday, the major Chinese SUV maker said it will start with an initial production of 2,000 cars a year, with the output gradually rising to 50,000 annually by 2014.

The local market is the initial target of the car plant owned by Great Wall and Bulgaria's Litex Motors. Future markets could be Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia.

Great Wall officials said the aim is to gradually expand their affordable prices to other European markets.

The first two models being produced in Bulgaria -- the Voleex C10 city car and the Steed 5 pickup -- will cost €8,000-€12,500 ($10,565-$16,500).

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