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European and American vehicle manufacturers have dominated the automotive market for the entire 20th century. While it would be foolish to suggest that their strength will completely dissipate in the next, it appears that the Chinese market is becoming quite the contender. After a tremendously impressive move, it looks like one company in particular is trying to get a share of the market, saturating the European auto market with their own vehicles.

Called Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, the Chinese automaker has recently opened a plant in the Bulgarian town of Lovech. Set to assembly 50,000 units, reporters at Reuters have noted that the Great Wall Hover SUV and Voleex city car models are set to be the company’s favorites. Creating nearly 2,000 jobs, the plant will be operating in full capacity in 2013, creating even more opportunities in the region.

The company in question is not well known to many Europeans. Going public in September 2011, it has since raised nearly $619 million from Shanghai public offerings. Arising out of these meek beginnings, the company hopes to sell an impressive 600,000 vehicles in 2012 and export nearly 100,000 abroad.

To date the company has exported nearly 83,000 units to 120 countries and regions around the world. While this is a relatively small number compared to the giants were used to, the company is growing fast and will certainly become a name we will all be familiar with.

The growing power of China is not to be underestimated. While it is well known that Chinese market has favored German luxury producers during the financial crisis, the shift in powers may mean quite a lot for the whole auto market. As noted in a recent episode of Top Gear, even though many of the manufacturers are simply copying European models, there is a massive boom in their own unique designs. This success will certainly see a transformation in the next decades, causing a shift in the balance of powers.

This of course may mean the end of certain smaller manufacturers and a great deal more competition for old contenders. While it is certainly difficult to predict how this industry will develop, it looks like the next century will be more exciting than ever before.