Chinese Automaker Chery to Produce Electric Vehicles in Spain, Creating 1,250 Jobs

Chinese automaker Chery to produce 150,000 EVs annually in Spain, creating 1,250 jobs, as part of Spain's reindustrialization and commitment to electromobility.

Safak Costu
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Chinese Automaker Chery to Produce Electric Vehicles in Spain, Creating 1,250 Jobs

Chinese Automaker Chery to Produce Electric Vehicles in Spain, Creating 1,250 Jobs

Chinese automaker Chery has signed a deal to produce mainly electric vehicles in Spain, creating 1,250 jobs and aiming to produce around 150,000 vehicles a year by 2029 at a former Nissan factory in Barcelona. The joint venture agreement was signed with Spanish group Ebro-EV Motors, with Chery as the junior partner.

The new plant, now known as the 'Ebro Factory', will be one of Chery's primary exporting facilities worldwide, with production starting at the end of the summer. Chery and EV Motors will invest around €400 million in the plant, which will initially hire 150 former Nissan workers. The venture plans to export vehicles to the rest of Europe and other countries.

The production will start with the assembly of Chery's Omoda model, both internal combustion engine and electric versions, followed by electric SUVs sold under the Ebro brand from the fourth quarter of 2024. The factory previously employed nearly 3,000 people before it was shut down by Nissan in December 2021.

Why this matters: The deal is seen as a symbol of Spain's reindustrialization process and a commitment to smart and sustainable mobility, with the goal of turning Spain into a major European electromobility hub. The automotive sector is a crucial industry for the Spanish economy, and this agreement is part of a nationwide effort to promote advanced manufacturing and technological innovation.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez praised the investment, saying it shows Spain is becoming a significant EV hub for Europe, and the government will provide funding support. Catalan President Pere Aragonès welcomed Chery's decision to set up in Catalonia, calling it evidence of the region's "enormous potential" and the Spanish government's "total commitment" to Barcelona and Catalonia.

Chery's move into Spain comes amid growing tensions between China and the European Union over subsidies for Chinese electric vehicle makers, which the EU argues disrupt fair competition. Setting up factories in Europe could help Chinese automakers circumvent any potential customs duties on car imports. Chery is the second Chinese carmaker to set up in Europe, after BYD announced plans to build a factory in Hungary.

Key Takeaways

  • Chery to produce EVs in Spain, creating 1,250 jobs by 2029 at former Nissan factory.
  • Chery-Ebro Motors joint venture to invest €400M, with Chery as junior partner.
  • Production to start with Chery's Omoda model, followed by Ebro-branded electric SUVs.
  • Deal seen as Spain's reindustrialization, turning it into a European electromobility hub.
  • Chery's move into Europe amid tensions over Chinese EV subsidies, aims to bypass tariffs.