Great Wall Motor Co., a major private Chinese light-vehicle manufacturer looking to expand globally, signed an agreement with Daimler AG to purchase the German automaker’s factory in Brazil.
Under the deal inked Wednesday, Great Wall will acquire land, buildings, machinery and equipment at the manufacturing site in Iracemapolis in the southeast Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, but not employees, the company said.
Great Wall expects to complete the deal and start retooling the plant toward the end of the year.
After the renovation, the factory will have annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles and employ nearly 2,000 people, the company added.
Great Wall didn’t reveal additional details or financial terms of the deal.
Daimler said in December it would end car production in Brazil by shutting down the factory that had produced Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles since 2016.
Mercedes opened the factory when Brazilian industrial policy forced several automakers to open plants if they wanted to sell large volumes of vehicles locally, leading to overcapacity.
Daimler said in December that a drop in luxury vehicle sales during the COVID-19 pandemic made it unsustainable to keep the factory open.
Great Wall, headquartered in the north China city of Baoding, operates nine assembly plants in China. It also produces vehicles in Russia and Thailand.
In the first seven months, it delivered 709,766 sedans, crossovers, SUVs and pickups globally, a jump of 50 percent from the same period last year.