Geely and Belarus Sign Agreement on Large Automobile Assembly Project
EX7, SC7 and other popular models first in line for production
BEIJING, July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — On July 16, during the visit of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to China, a number of joint venture agreements reflecting the economic cooperation between the two countries were signed in Beijing. As part of this, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Chairman Li Shufu and Belarusian Minister of Industry Katerinich D.S. signed the “Geely-Belarus joint venture agreement on the establishment of a large automobile assembly project,” marking the implementation of the first automotive joint venture between China and Belarus.
According to the terms of the agreement, BELAZ, the world’s second-largest mining machinery company, based in Belarus, the large parts production joint venture SOYUZ, formed by Shenzhen Shentou Investment and Belarusian BATE group, and Geely will jointly form the Closed Joint Stock Company “BELGEE.” The new venture, which has a planned annual production capacity of 120,000 units, will produce Geely automobiles in Belarus. Four of Geely’s most popular models, the SUV-EX7, the Geely SC7, SC5 and the LC-CROSS, will be the first batch to go into assembly and production. Building on this initial foundation, the project’s production capacity and product line will subsequently be expanded, eventually allowing it to supply Russia, Ukraine and the wider CIS market.
Geely Belarus, based in Borisov in the Minsk region of Belarus, was established in March 2012. The venture’s first car came off the production line in October 2012 and the SOP (standard operating procedures) was established in November of the same year. All products produced by Geely Belarus have obtained both Belarusian and Russian product homologations. The Geely SC7 has been available in Belarus since March this year, and the SUV EX7 is expected to be available by the end of the year.
According to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, Geely Auto has undergone rapid overseas expansion in recent years, with exports to overseas markets continuing to increase. Geely Auto is now the fastest-growing automobile exporter in China, with sales to the Russian and Ukrainian markets particularly strong. Between January and June this year, Geely Auto recorded sales of 14,886 and 6,739 units in Russia and Ukraine respectively, giving it the largest presence of any Chinese automobile brand in those markets. While heavy industry in Belarus is advanced in comparison with other CIS countries, its automobile industry has lagged behind. The Geely-Belarus joint venture agreement will both promote the development of the Belarusian automobile industry and provide Geely with a platform from which to expand its presence in the CIS market, representing an important step in the company’s overseas ambitions.
SOURCE Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd.