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Industry: Billionaire invests in Chinese cars
16 Jun 06 14:30

Billionaire investor George Soros is to bankroll entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin's plans to import Chinese-made cars to the US.

Soros, one of the richest men in the world, is said to have placed $200m in an escrow account for Bricklin's Visionary Vehicles company, to fund the joint venture with Chery Automobile to develop and produce cars for the US and other western markets.

Bricklin, aside from his controversial attempts to build his own sports car in Canada - a venture often referred to as 'the Canadian DeLorean' - is best-known for his introduction of cheap Yugo cars to the US. He has kept a high media profile in recent months, recruiting dealers and promoting his plans for the Chery cars, although he has had to admit that the range is unlikely now to be ready for launch next year.

Sceptics have warned that the cars - which will be priced to undercut even the cheapest Korean imports - may not be up to quality standards and that they would have no more impact on the US market than the Yugos. However, with the Soros investment, Bricklin may well now be taken more seriously. article continues below
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