China’s Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. is spending $30 million on a new car-assembly plant in the Middle East.

Construction is expected to be completed in early 2008 and start rolling out vehicles by year-end to meet demand in regional markets such as Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq, Chery Jordan Co. Ltd.’s Chairman Mohamed al-Qalam tells China’s Xinhua news service.

The auto maker established the Jordan sales subsidiary about three years ago and Chery Jordan Sales Manager Moutaz al-Shaweish says more than 3,000 vehicles have been sold since then.

“Such sales volume was quite satisfactory given the fact that Chery, as a newcomer in the world’s fiercely competitive auto industry, was totally unknown in the Jordanian car market,” al-Shaweish says.

Al-Qalam says demand for Chinese-made cars, including Chery, has been remarkably good in Jordan throughout 2007. “We are optimistic over more sales,” he says.

Chery also has an assembly plant in Egypt with an annual production capacity of 25,000 units, which can be doubled if necessary, Xinhua says. Additionally, the auto maker exports cars to Syria and is expected to build a production facility in Iran.