The first factory of the Salvador Caetano group in Asia, to manufacture special buses, started operating Wednesday in Dalian, northeast China, in partnership with a local Chinese company, the Portuguese group said in a statement.
In the statement about the launch of Brilliance Caetano, the chairman of the group, José Ramos, said that a team of Portuguese engineers was working simultaneously in Vila Nova de Gaia and in Dalian and added that training was underway for Chinese employees.
The new factory involves investment of 4 million euros, half of which was provided by the Portuguese group and the remainder by its partner, Brilliance Auto, of HuaChen Group Auto Holding Co, and which is associated to the BMW brand.
The Brilliance Caetano factory is set on an area of 3.2 hectares and is expected to employ 250 people in the first few years of business. As well as buses for airports, it may also produce other special vehicles, such as school buses and urban electric buses.
The initial installed capacity will be of 150 units per year, but may be increased to up to 300 units, “depending on market demand,” the Portuguese group said, leaving open the possibility of Brilliance Caetano exporting to neighbouring markets.
Brilliance Caetano is the second Portuguese-owned company that to open this year in Dalian, a port city in the northeast of China with a population of around 7 million and mid-way between Beijing and the Korean peninsula. In May Sodecia was inaugurated in Dalian, and the Portuguese industrial group invested around 20 million euros in this new project.
Founded in 1946 based on a small bus body production unit, the Salvador Caetano group now has 150 companies in seven countries – Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Cape Verde and now China – and in 2012 it posted turnover of 1.5 billion euros. (macauhub)