A downturn in new auto sales in Russia this year has not deterred Zheijing Geely Holding. The Chinese car maker has entered an assembly venture in Belarus with the ultimate goal to get closer to the volatile, but promising Russian auto market.
Under an agreement finalised during the visit by Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, to Beijing last week, Geely will team up with two Belarusian companies to build up to 120,000 vehicles a year.
Car dealers in any society are pretty much at the bottom of the pile when it comes to public trust. Ironically in China – where consumers are hyper-distrustful of all merchants at the best of times – car dealers have not been around long enough to become the particular object of public disdain they are in the west. They still have that to look forward to.
So there may not be much public sympathy for complaints from auto dealers that they are carrying too much inventory as the Chinese car market pulls out of a traditionally slow first quarter and ramps up for the usually busy spring and summer sales seasons.