MANILA, March 28 (Xinhua) -- China's car manufacturer Chery Automobile Co. Ltd is planning to put up an assembly plant costing 4.5 billion pesos (100 million U.S. dollars) in the Philippines within the next three years.
Chery has existing assembly plants in Malaysia and Indonesia and it is grooming the Philippines to become its third assembly hub in Southeast Asia.
China's top car company recently partnered with a local firm to create local unit Chery Cars Philippines, Inc. which would initially serve as exclusive distributor of its cars in the country and to eventually manage assembly operations.
"Manufacturing is very capital extensive so we're planning to go into assembly first which we are targeting to do within three years. We can imports parts and assemble (cars) here," Chery Cars Philippines president and Chief Operating Officer Marinel B. Santiago said during the launch of new Chery car models in Pasay City in the country's capital region of Metro Manila.
Chery Cars vice president Guibing Zhang said the envisioned Philippine assembly plant would initially produce 20,000 units annually.
Zhang said the Philippines is a "perfect" investment site for China's top car company given the country's record economic growth which has resulted in the increase in the number of middle-income families.
"We believe the Philippines will lead ASEAN countries in growing investments. We want to be where the action is," he said.
Chery cars currently sold in the Philippines are all imported from China.
The company introduced eight new models of commercial and utility vehicles and passenger cars which will be sold by local dealers this year.