Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor (GWM) plans to expand its operations to eight other countries in Europe amid the global shift to electric vehicles, local media platform Sina Tech reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
GWM apparently plans to penetrate eight new European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland.
In addition, the Chinese automaker aims to build a new domestic Research & Development hub as it considers expanding electric vehicle production to the region.
In that sense, GWM started to explore potential locations for the planned R&D facility across Europe.
GWM’s decision to expand in Europe and build a new R&D center is undoubtedly crucial amid the EU officials’ ongoing anti-subsidy probe against Chinese automakers in the region.
In fact, the automaker was apparently the first to provide response materials to the investigation committee in mid-October.
“It will be bumpy for Chinese cars to go overseas, but we are unswerving and accelerating the pace of going overseas.”
Great Wall President Mu Feng stated at that time
Having a European production development can aid the Chinese automaker to avoid further investigation for electric vehicle imports from China. However, it will certainly be expensive and may pose major challenges in the long run.
According to Electrek, GWM has dominated the Chinese SUV and pickup truck market since its launch in the mid-80s. In the past few years, the company decided to join the electric vehicle push amid the government’s strong support for this major transition.
Since then, GWM has made significant strides in the Chinese new energy vehicle industry. However, it still has yet to establish a reputation in foreign markets, particularly in the EU.
Considering the planned expansion in the region, its weak presence in the EU is about to change. In hindsight, the company initially penetrated the German market with its Ora Good Cat EV. Its customer base also expanded in the United Kingdom.
Now, GWM is set to shake up eight other European countries with its electric vehicle offerings. This expansion demonstrates the Chinese automaker’s commitment to advance in the global market. However, it would be challenging for the company as industry leaders Tesla and BYD dominate Europe.