Chinese automaker eyes plants in two Mexican states

By Elliot Bullman

Great Wall Motor, which describes itself as China's largest SUV and pickup manufacturer, is interested in building a plant in Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico or the central state of San Luis Potosi.

great wall motor mexicoOriginal image: "2016 Great Wall Steed" byTuRbO_J, used underCC BY 2.0 license, via Flickr.

Great Wall Motor officials met with Mexico's top railroad firms, Ferrocarril Mexicano, part of Grupo Mexico, as well as Kansas City Southern de Mexico, to evaluate the states' connectivity.

A senior Great Wall Motor executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the choice between U.S. and Mexican locations would depend on trade issues involving the United States, Mexico and China.

8564589280_12414fdcf7_oOriginal image: "Great Wall Motors Dealership: Adelaide - Australia." byTuRbO_J, used underCC BY 2.0 license, via Flickr.

China, a low-cost manufacturing rival to Mexico, has traditionally invested little in Latin America's second largest economy. But there are signs that could be changing.

In February, China's Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC Motor) and distributor Chori Company unveiled plans with a firm part-owned by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim to invest over $200 million in a car plant in the central state of Hidalgo.

10414427514_c48fe2f869_kOriginal image: "JAC J3 1.3 Cross 2013" byRL GNZLZ, used underCC BY-SA 2.0 license, via Flickr.

According to one of the sources, construction on the Great Wall Motor plant could get underway next year and cost about $500 million. It would produce some 250,000 autos a year for the American and Mexican markets and seek to use Chinese inputs.

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