ECONOMY

Mogul Carlos Slim to produce cars in Mexico in joint venture with China

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim smiles during a news conference in Mexico City, Mexico, January 27, 2017.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim smiles during a news conference in Mexico City, Mexico, January 27, 2017.  (Reuters)

Giant Motors, the automotive company backed by billionaire Carlos Slim, will begin production of cars in Mexico in a joint venture with the Chinese corporation Jac Motors, according to published reports.

The deal aims to cash in on Mexico’s car market but will also look to expand south of the border. 

“We want to be a hub for exports to Latin America," said Elías Massri, Giant Motors chief executive, to the Financial Times

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“We don’t depend on Nafta at all, not for exports or for supplies,” he said. “For us, this is where the opportunity lies.” 

The $230 million investment is materializing after two years of talks, the Times said, fueled by a healthy 6.5 percent auto sales growth in 2016.

Giant Motors already has in place a joint venture with the Chinese company FAW by which it assembles trucks and vans in a plant in the state of Hidalgo.

The new vehicles will be assembled there too.

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Currently Mexico exports cars to 44 countries through a dozen free trade agreements and serves as a global exports platform to companies such as Audi, the Times reported.

“[Those car companies] have a clear intention to go global, in contrast to what we’re seeing in globalized countries that want to go backwards,” said Massri.