China's Great Wall Plans to Sell SUVs in U.S. by 2015

Chinese Car Makers Must Go Global, CEO Wang Fengying Says

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SHANGHAI -- Great Wall Motor Co., a private Chinese automaker, plans to enter the U.S. by 2015 to expand its presence overseas, said company CEO Wang Fengying.

"We are in the process of implementing the plan," she told Automotive News China in an interview at the Shanghai auto show.

The initial model to be brought to the U.S. will be Great Wall's Haval-brand SUV, Wang said.

Great Wall has yet to decide who will distribute its vehicles in the U.S. "More than 10 companies have talked to us about jointly establishing a dealer network," she said.

Instead of establishing a nationwide network of dealerships, Great Wall will set up stores in one region within the U.S., Ms. Wang added. But Great Wall has yet to choose the region.

The company also wants to set up an assembly plant in North America, but Wang did not identify possible locations or timetables.

Why enter a market as competitive as the U.S.? To survive and prosper, companies eventually must compete internationally, Wang said. "It is important for Chinese companies to go upscale, but more importantly, we must go global," she said.

Located in the north China city of Baoding, Great Wall makes the Haval SUV, Wingle pickup and Voleex sedan. The company is China's largest maker of SUVs and pickups.

Last year, Great Wall sold about 500,000 units, including 80,000 vehicles in overseas markets. The company sells vehicles in Australia, Italy and a number of emerging markets.

Yang Jian is the managing editor of Automotive News China
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