Chery Lands in Spain to Become First Chinese Car Factory in Europe

The brand is already China's third largest manufacturer and largest exporter

Chery Auto, one of China’s largest automakers, has signed a joint venture agreement with Spain’s Ebro-EV Motors to produce cars at the former Nissan plant (closed in 2021) near Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Closing the plant left 2500 people unemployed, but now 150,000 cars per year can be produced there, with half the workforce getting re-employed.

The operation was welcomed by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez: “The revival of the factory is a symbol of reindustrialization process for Catalonia and Spain, of the ability to adapt to global challenges and attract foreign investment, because together we are invincible,” explained Sanchez.

Chery Group, China’s third-largest manufacturer, is also the largest exporter of cars from China and will now be the first to produce cars in large volumes directly in Europe. According to El Mundo, the Catalan plant will produce cars belonging to the Chery-owned Omoda brand, specifically Omoda 5, in both gasoline and 100% electric versions. There will also be an electric pickup truck under the Ebro brand, a historic Spanish brand that will thus be “resurrected.”

In addition to Chery, another major Chinese player, BYD, already has direct production facilities in Europe, but these are limited to buses, even if the brand’s first car manufacturing plant is expected to start up in Hungary in 2026.

Chery already had interests in Europe, particularly related to its partnership with Italian brand DR Motors, which has been rebranding and assembling “budget” Chinese cars in Molise for a couple of decades and has been achieving good sales results.

Returning to the Chery – Ebro EV Motors joint venture, Guibing Zhang, executive vice president of the Chinese group, explained the plant’s medium-term plans. “Once we reach a sufficient scale, we plan to export products to the rest of Europe and other countries, turning this plant into one of Chery’s main export platforms around the world,” Zhang said, according to Italian economic newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.