Tiger Truck announced Tuesday that it will build the first U.S. assembly plant in Jasper, Texas, for vehicles based on designs by China's third largest car manufacturer, ChangAn Automobile Group.
The Jasper facility, with a capacity of 7,500 vehicles annually, will employ 100 workers and the first "Made in U.S." vehicles are expected to leave the production line in early 2008.
Tiger Truck, a privately-held company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is the exclusive importer, distributor and now U.S. manufacturer for ChangAn, which in China has manufacturing agreements with Suzuki, Ford and Mazda.
Mike Ward, founder and CEO of Tiger Truck, said, "with so many U.S. manufacturers investing in China, I am particularly pleased to be investing in the U.S., hiring skilled U.S. workers and delivering superior products made here for our markets in the Americas. While others are trying to buy cheap parts from China, we are seeking important OEM and sourcing agreements with key U.S. suppliers."
At the outset, approximately 80 percent of the trucks manufactured in Texas will be for export.
The Jasper facility will produce two new truck platforms. The Champ, a full-size pick-up truck will be sold to the U.S. and Canadian off-road market. Another version of this platform, the Leopard, has a diesel engine, and will be sold for export only for on-road use.
The second platform, a medium-duty truck, will be sold globally for on-road use, including in the U.S. This truck will be delivered with an EPA/C.A.R.B. certified diesel engine.