(Yicai Global) May. 9 -- Shaanxi Automobile Group Co., northwest China's largest automaker, has rolled out its first dump truck from its new assembly plant in northeastern Algeria's Setif province, marking the first time that a Chinese-branded truck has been made in the country.
A brainchild of Algeria's Mazouz Trade Group and Shaanxi Automobile Group's joint venture, the 20,000-square-meter factory was completed this month. It is the largest of its kind for Shaanxi Automobile Group overseas, and the first Chinese automobile assembly plant in Algeria. The plant is expected to produce 3,000 heavy-duty trucks each year, reported state-owned Xinhua News Agency.
The Algerian government has tried to boost the automotive industry to diversify its oil-dependent economy and reduce car imports bill, which amounted to CNY47.8 billion (USD7.5 billion) in 2014, reported China Daily.
The Chinese automaker's business in Algeria has developed from exports to setting up this plant, which will not only drive the local economic development but is an important step in the Chinese brands' foray into the African market, said the firm's Chairman Yuan Hongming.
Buyers from Algeria, Tunisia, and Mali participated in the debut ceremony. Compared with similar models produced in Europe and the United States, Chinese vehicles are lower in price, have larger capacity, and are more convenient and reliable, one buyer said.
Shaanxi Automobile runs major research and production bases for China's heavy military vehicles, as well as for civilian vehicles such as trucks and buses. The Group has established local plants in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Malaysia, and exports its products to more than 90 countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Editors: Emmi Laine, William Clegg