Chinese Firm to Assemble Cars in Cuba

Progreso Weekly

Geely cars sold to Cuba.  Foto:
Geely cars sold to Cuba. Foto:

HAVANA TIMES — A leading Chinese automobile manufacturer will start assembling its vehicles in Cuba, the Chinese website Global Times revealed Wednesday (Dec. 25).

The Hangzhou-based Geely International Corporation “is now preparing to launch the SKD [semi knocked-down, or partly put together vehicle] project in a local place” in Cuba, Global Times reported.

The project will be undertaken “at the request of several Cuban ministries,” including Foreign Trade and Investment, Communications, and Metallurgy.

Global Times does not provide a timetable for the project or a site, although the “local place” may very well be the Mariel Special Development Zone, west of Havana, where the vehicles would be assembled.

Global Times quotes Geely as saying that the number of its vehicles on the streets in Cuba “has reached nearly 10,000 units,” utilized mainly by the Cuban Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Tourism.

Geely CK in Cuba.  Foto:
Geely CK in Cuba. Photo:

Likewise, Geely’s CK models are used as senior government functionaries’ official cars and police cars. In the area of tourism, “80 percent of rental cars in Cuba are Geely CK, EC7 and EC8 models,” the company says, pointing out that tourism is “the main source of Cuba’s foreign exchange.”

According to the manufacturer, Geely Automobile accounts for “almost 50 percent of Cuba’s import market share, which is equal to that of Kia, Peugeot and other makes. Moreover, among all the Chinese automobile brands, Geely holds the largest share in the local market.”

Geely maintains a warehouse in Cuba for its spare parts, which is at 80 percent capacity, the manufacturer says. “To further speed up its supply of spare parts and maintenance, Geely’s office in Cuba has signed agreements with SASA [Servicio Automotriz, Sociedad Anónima], a national automotive service subordinated to the Cuban Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, on jointly building standard service stations and spare parts stores.”

According to Cuba Standard, a website of Cuba-related business news, Cuba is Geely’s largest market in the Caribbean, Central America and northern part of South America. “In 2012, the company opened a contract assembly plant in Uruguay in a joint venture with a local partner, making it Geelys first in the Western hemisphere,” Cuba Standard says.

“The plant, with a capacity of 20,000 cars per year, is supplying primarily Mercosur markets Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as Chile.”

As of Friday (Dec. 27), the Cuban media had not reported on the Geely project.

16 thoughts on “Chinese Firm to Assemble Cars in Cuba

  • It’s mind boggling that Geely-Volvo, which aspires to be respected for safety, Is still selling the CK1 Freedom Cruiser, a proven death trap, in the backyard of its dream market, the U.S..

  • I am sure the plants will at first have many off shore workers. When the Canadian Company Sherrit first started mining in Cuba they brought in many Canadian workers. I toured the mine about four years after Sherrittook it over. The Canadian manager told me the Cubans are very quick learners and most Canadian workers had gone back to Canada.

  • Has anyone noticed that the article says that SASA is an enterprise subordinated to the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution? Should that be true, it is the most alarming fact in this article! As if it was not enough that the military owns most or all of the tourism industry. These CDRs are supposed to be a non-profit, social mass organization spontaneously created and joined by citizens to defend the Revolution!

  • Marx wrote about the dictatorship of the proletariat as a necessary element of revolution. Engels expanded on Marx, adding the need for authoritarian power, violence and terror to be exercised by the dictatorship against the capitalist classes.

    Lenin expanded further on the authoritarian nature of the dictatorship and especially on the use of terror against any and all enemies of the vanguard party.

    You insist this deviation is not true Socialism as Marx proposed it. Lenin insisted that his ideology was a necessary adaptation to make Marxism work in backward Russia. He proclaimed Marxism-Leninism as the true form of socialism and to drive home they point, he had those who disagreed with him arrested, jailed or shot. Stalin merely took Marxism-Leninism to the logical and inevitable conclusion.

    All subsequent Marxist revolutions have followed the same Marxist-Leninist path toward totalitarianism. In each case, democratic socialists, such as yourself, were eventually declared enemies of the revolution and arrested or murdered. In every case, the socialists outside of these countries defended the Marxist-Leninist revolutions even when the true nature of the horrors were known. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim, Castro, Che, Hoxa, Trotsky (all of them murdering totalitarians) were all praised and defended by Western Leftists such as yourself. Only decades later do some Leftist dare to make tepid critiques of their former idols, and then in mealy-mouthed obfuscations that Stalin and so on were aberrations and not true socialists and that next time we’ll get it right. Or the apologists claim their heroes were going to build true socialism but were forced to become totalitarians because the USA opposed them.

    No sane, moral human being can trust such an inhuman, brutal and dishonest intellectual heritage that today calls itself “Marxist” or “socialist” or whatever label they chose to hide their crimes under.

  • Please tell me where Marx said that a socialist economy should be run in a totalitarian , top-down manner .
    This is your thinking and not that of any scholarly exposition of Marxist thought
    Shoot your radio.
    It’s telling you crazy things.

  • The Chinese are no more communist than you.
    Small “c” communists are democrats .
    The Chinese are not small “c” communists .
    Their government happens to be run by a party that calls itself Communist which you somehow think makes them communist.

  • Ikea discovered to their dismay the poor quality of work performed in Cuban factories. If they couldn’t get cheap furniture made properly in Cuba, i would be very reluctant to drive any automobiles made in a factory run by the Castros.

  • The wages paid in the Chinese factory where iPhones are assembled are much hire than the average Chinese salary. On thing for sure, the Castro dictatorship will be taking the lion’s share of the labour costs paid by the Chinese government.

    It’s pathetic really. When the Cuban Revolution began in 959, China was just entering the hell of Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the building massive genocidal famines it entailed. Now China is building factories in Cuba, which continues to wallow under the same insane Marxist economic doctrine long ago abandoned by China.

  • I am amazing, aren’t I? But just to debunk the “continual stream of negative” hissy fit you are having, please check this link to another post here at HT…

  • USA/Cuba Embargo=Terrorism American Style

  • Its possible but I doubt it. Peugot recently made a huge investment in Mexico as the beachhead to expand sales to Latin America. It would seem hard to justify a Cuba plant so soon after initiating operations in nearby Mexico. In the last two years, Peugot S.A. along with other major European car makers have been under pressure by the EU and the US to leave Iran. Having finally done so and losing money on their investment it is hard to believe they would risk offending their major markets again by doing business with the Castros.

  • I am totally amazed of the continual stream of negative drivel that you produce, Moses? can we not have something positive from you. “talk about biting the hand that feeds you”.
    Do you not realise that your country of residence buys so much produce from China that they virtually own the corporate purse strings of the country that you reside.
    In conclusion Moses as a retired person, my mind boggles at how you manage to respond to virtually all the Havana Times correspondence articles whilst working fulltime?
    Perhaps you are working for a government agency full time, letter writing?

  • I have researched the economy of Cuba with 82 visits since March of 1993 and have reason to believe Peugeot of Europe will be making autos in Cuba by 2018. I will be in Varadero in January – two resorts – Melia and Iberostar.

  • You have something Negative to say about everything I see…

  • I have used this car as a rental when I visit Cuba. Typical Chinese underpowered car but sufficient for the streets of Havana. China has previously had this sort of partial assembly arrangement in Cuba for Chinese TV’s and refrigerators. Just as you can well imagine that even though iPhones are made in China, the overwhelming profits from the sale of these phones are enjoyed by Apple stockholders because of the measly wages paid to the Chinese workers in the assembly plant, so it is with these cars and the Cuban workers who will assemble them. Who says the Communist Chinese don’t know how to exploit the wage-labor slave as good as any capitalist?

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