The Chinese cars crashed into the Bulgarian Great Wall

The Litex Motors car factory is located in the village of Bahovitsa, near the town of Lovech. It was officially opened on February 21st 2012 by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

It is a joint venture of the Chinese automobile company Great Wall and the Bulgarian Litex Motors. It covers an area of 500 thousand m². According to unofficial sources, China has invested only EUR 7-8 million in know-how for the plant. The remaining investment – EUR 72 million – was made by the owner of Litex Motor, Grisha Ganchev, who took large loans from the Corporate Commercial Bank, which subsequently went bankrupt.

According to China Global Investment Tracker, though, the Chinese company Great Wall has invested $ 130 million in Bulgaria. Whatever the figures, it’s certain that the factory near the town of Lovech was subsequently closed, the assembly of SUVs was discontinued and the premises were leased to a German company.

The cars were intended for national and European markets. The Voleex C10 urban model, the Steed 5 and 6 pick up trucks and the Hover H5 and H6 SUVs are still available.

Four years  after the opening, in January 2016, the Bahovitsa plant ceased its operations. The joint venture of Grisha Ganchev and the Chinese was transformed into Bahovitsa Industrial Park at the end of 2017. As a result, a contract with an investor has been concluded. This is the German auto parts manufacturer VOSS Automotive, which uses some part of the factory’s production facilities. There is also interest from other investors.

German automotive components manufacturer VOSS Automotive has officially opened its first production plant in Bulgaria. Source: Ministry of Economy, Bulgaria

The new industrial park near the village of Bahovitsa in Lovech stretches on an area of about 300 acres with infrastructure – electricity, water, gas, treatment plant. It has five one-store production and storage facilities and one administrative building on five floors.

The owner of the company is “Bulgarian Automobile Industry”, a company affiliated with Grisha Ganchev. It holds the rights to sell the ZHENGZHOU YUTONG BUS Chinese buses and the Great Wall cars.

Grisha Ganchev’s company started producing Chinese Great Wall cars in 2012 and 6 years later it became the second-largest corporate bankruptcy in the country. After several attempts to restructure the company and separate the distribution network from the production process, in 2018 the company went bankrupt.

A new company of Grisha Ganchev continues the partnership with Great Wall, but only as a car importer which also maintains service bases in major cities in Bulgaria.

 

Read more about the Chinese companies in:

Ukraine

Moldova

Romania