Grupo Elektra to sell Chinese cheap cars in Mexico

Grupo Elektra, Mexican retailer and banking chain, plans to begin selling Chinese-made cheap cars in Mexico early next year.

The company said in a statement that it was forming an alliance with one of China's biggest car manufacturers, the state-owned FAW Group Corp.

In addition to selling Chinese-made cars in Mexico and Central America, the agreement calls for producing cars at a US$150 million (€101 million) plant to be built in the western Mexican state of Michoacan by 2010. The plant is expected to churn out 100,000 cars each year.

Elektra said the cars will be priced up to 10 percent less than the average for major competitors, "allowing the car market to incorporate a large segment of the population who, at this moment, aren't clients of the industry."

The low-cost retailer plans to use its Banco Azteca to provide financing. Grupo Electra has more than 1,700 stores in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Panama, El Salvador and Argentina.

FAW group is based in Changchun in China's northeast and has joint ventures with Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova