Zotye, the Chinese company that is about to present a Porsche Macan copy cat, called SR8, which has become recently famous due to the “resemblance” with the German SUV, has announced it will build a plant in Brazil. More exactly in Goianésia, a city in the State of Goiás. But the same plant will serve another company, Electro EV, a Brazilian electric car manufacturer.
This is a picture of Zotye’s plant.
And this is the project for the Electro EV plant, which can be checked at the company’s website.
Another example, side by side, for the sake of more direct comparison: on the left, the Chinese brand’s; on the right, Electro EV’s.
Last, but not least, compare the image we have used as the main one for this article and one from Electro EV’s plant:
What a difference watermarks can do, can’t they?
Zotye’s plant is, in fact, Electro EV’s plant. While Zotye presented factory renderings in June 10, 2015, on its Brazilian Facebook page, the website for Electro EV has emerged in March 2016. The plant will be located at Rodovia GO-080, km 59, Anel Viário, Goianésia. In its “who we are” page, Electro EV states this: “In 2012, we have decided to replace investments in dealerships for import authorizations in Brazil. In December 2013, we have signed an exclusivity deal with Zotye. The partnership has been fruitful and there is ongoing negotiation for installing Zotye’s first plant in the Americas. With the increasing evolution of electric vehicles in the world, the group has decided to have a plant exclusively for them. Besides producing Zotye’s electric cars, we have established a contract with a reputed Italian brand, producer of the only electric urban sports car in the world, and we plan to build some of them by the end of 2017”.
Apparently, Electro EV will build a multibrand plant. Besides the Z100 and the E200 from Zotye, it should also produce the Tazzari Zero EM1, a little Italian electric car. We still do not know if the plant will belong to the Chinese brand or if it will produce Zotye’s cars under license.
Zotye (or its official importer) has also bought the Brazilian brand TAC in October 2015. TAC has a factory in Sobral, Ceará, and used to produce an SUV called Stark. The company was sold for R$ 190 million (US$ 50 million) and it was supposed to produce other Zotye models, probably petrol or diesel models from the Chinese brand. The Z100, also called Logic, the Z300, the Z500 and the SUVs T200, also known as Hunter and “inspired” by the Daihatsu Terios, and T500, a Volkswagen Tiguan copy cat, are internal combustion models that may be produced there.
We have tried to contact Zotye in order to get more details and will update this post as soon as we hear back from them.
Zotye has got in touch with MotorChase to clarify our doubts about its production in Brazil. The TAC Stark production will remain as it is. It would not be able to cope with other vehicles production, according to Rafael Oliveira, marketing manager of the company. New TAC models, such as a pick-up truck, would be under development and they me produced at the Goianesia plant as well.
The new factory will demand a R$ 150 million investment (about US$ 42 million) and will have a built area of 200,000 m². The same project will include the Zotye plant and the Electro plant. Zotye will only assemble internal combustion engine models (Z100 Logic and T500), while Electro will produce the electric vehicles, such as the Tazzari Zero EM1, currently implementing frontal airbags and ABS in order for the Brazilian production, which demands these safety equipments. The estimated price for it is R$ 100,000 (US$ 28,000, with no tax breaks…).
The Zotye Z100 Cloud and the E200 will also be produced by Electro as well as a sort of golf kart for use in condos. The total production of both plants, together, will be of 20,000 per year. Initially, it will depend on CKD, but Zotye plans to change that in 5 years, with a Brazilian content of 70%.
While the plant will only be able to produce in 2018, Zotye’s operations will begin in Brazil in November, with imported vehicles. The first one to be put for sale will be the Z100, both in Logic (ICE) and in Cloud (electric) versions. It will later import the T600 2.0 Turbo. In 2017, the company will start to sell in Brazil the T500 and the E200.