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JAC Motors' S3 sport utility vehicle, soon to be built in Mexico. JAC Motors' S3 sport utility vehicle, soon to be built in Mexico.

Chinese auto maker sets up in Hidalgo

Carlos Slim and Giant Motors are part of the alliance with JAC Motors

A Chinese automotive manufacturer has teamed up with Mexico’s Giant Motors and a Carlos Slim-owned financial firm to manufacture JAC sport utility vehicles in Hidalgo.

JAC Motors has entered into an alliance with Giant Motors, which already builds another Chinese vehicle at its Ciudad Sahagún plant, and Grupo Financiero Inbursa in a deal worth 4.4 billion pesos, or US $215 million.

JAC, or Jianghai Automobile Company, builds both cargo and passenger vehicles and has had a presence in Mexico since 2007 with dealerships in Sinaloa, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Chihuahua.

The Giant Motors plant in Hidalgo, which already manufactures FAW light and medium-duty trucks, will be expanded to build JAC Motors’ S2 and S3 SUVs with production beginning in the second half of this year. Its eventual capacity will be 40,000 units annually.

Mexican businessman Carlos Slim will be the principal shareholder in the venture through Inbursa.

Some 1,000 direct jobs and more than 4,500 indirect jobs will be created by the new plant.

The general manager of Giant Motors, which has been operating in Hidalgo for 10 years, said at a ceremony yesterday that the factory can count on 50 providers in the region for component parts, although most parts will be imported from China.

Elias Massri said his company chose an alliance with JAC after spending two years looking for a company to work with in the manufacture of passenger vehicles.

Source: El Universal (sp), Forbes (sp)

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