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Geely plant in Mexico

GEELY Holding Group Co, China's largest private auto maker, is pushing ahead with plans to build a factory in Mexico as it seeks to offset slumping demand at home by expanding overseas.

"We are making progress," Vice President Wang Ziliang told Bloomberg News yesterday by phone from Beijing.

The company intends to sell vehicles made at the plant in Central and South America, he added. Founder Li Shufu said last year the plant would build cars for the United States.

Chinese auto makers have begun to target foreign markets as tumbling domestic demand and rising competition crimp margins. China FAW Group Corp, the nation's second-largest auto maker, has also announced plans for a Mexican plant.

Geely and a partner will initially invest US$500 million in the new factory, Li said last year. Wang didn't say whether Geely had found a partner.

The auto maker isn't interested in buying General Motors Corp's Saab brand, Wang said, denying a Reuters report. The company will focus on boosting sales by improving its competitiveness rather than on seeking acquisitions, he added.


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