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Jiangsu Kawei Automotive Industry Group Company, one of the latest entrants in China’s burgeoning car market, is testing the waters in India. The company, which was earlier just a component maker, launched its first passenger vehicle (an SUV) in 2013.
The company has already begun discussions with a potential partner in India. Leon Chou, vice-general manager of Kawei International, knows that it is “not easy” to enter the “very competitive” Indian passenger vehicle market. “If we want to be successful, we must manufacture in India,” says Chou.
The company manages annual sales of 20,000 units – it’s a very small player in the huge Chinese market - but it looks like its ambitions are to scale. The OEM has already begun exporting its cars to some markets in the Middle East and Latin America.
At the ACMA Automechanika trade fair held in New Delhi, along with a twin-cab pickup truck, the Chinese OEM also had a full-electric SUV on display. Called the EV1, the 2.5-tonne SUV is driven by an 80kW motor and can supposedly go a distance of 250 kilometres on a full charge.