The site is said to have an annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles, and GWM plans to launch four BEV models of its Ora brand and six hybrid models of the GWM brand in Brazil over the next three years. The factory is also set to become GWM’s fourth-largest manufacturing site worldwide.
In order to achieve the 100,000 vehicles per year goal, GWM plans to start modernising and expanding the plant in the first half of 2023. The manufacturer has also announced plans to invest 10 billion Brazilian reais (the equivalent of 1.83 billion euros) within ten years in the development of car production in Brazil, including the R&D and supplier network. The goal is to achieve a localisation rate of over 60% by working with local suppliers.
The first vehicle to be produced at the new factory is a “hybrid flex-fuel truck” called Poer – a plug-in hybrid that runs on ethanol. Ethanol is a widely used fuel in Brazil, and fuel-flex engines support refuelling with petrol as well as ethanol. Ethanol is considered a bridge technology, since it can also be used to produce hydrogen and help commercialise it.
The factory in Brazil marks GWM's first NEV plant in Brazil that will specialise in hybrid and electric vehicles. Brazil’s vice-president Geraldo Alckmin has praised the plant, saying, “Brazil’s new industrialisation must involve decarbonisation and innovation and create more sustainable and efficient production methods.” With GWM’s investment in the development of car production in Brazil, the country is set to become a major hub for the electric vehicle industry in Latin America.
Sources: GWM, Argusmedia