25% of auto-in­dus­try su­per-rich fromChina

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By SHI JING in Shang­hai and WANGWENin Bei­jing

A quar­ter of top car-in­dus­try bil­lion­aires call China home, a list from Shang­hai-based Hu­run mag­a­zine that documents the life of the wealthy, showed.

This year’s Rich­est People from the Car In­dus­try list named 45 bil­lion­aires from 13 coun­tries. Their aver­age for­tune was $3.75 bil­lion. Among them, 11 are from China.

Wei Jian­jun, 50, chair­man of the He­bei-based Great Wall Mo­tors Co Ltd, is the rich­est self-made car en­tre­pre­neur in China. He ranked fifth with $7.7 bil­lion. His­com­pany is China’s largest pri­vate car brand and the big­gest do­mes­tic man­u­fac­turer of SUVs and pick­ups.

GreatWall’s mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion is­morethan $16.7 bil­lio­nan­dan­nual pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity is 800,000 ve­hi­cles. To­tal sales rev­enue was 56.8 bil­lion yuan ($9.19 bil­lion) in 2013 and net profit 8.3 bil­lion yuan.

“It is no longer a se­cret that Chi­nese bil­lion­aires are huge buy­ers of lux­ury cars,” Ru­pert Hoogew­erf, chair­man and chief re­searcher of Hu­run Re­port, said. “But still it is quite a sur­prise for us to find out that Chi­nese are not only ma­jor buy­ers but also ma­jor profit-mak­ers.”

Most of China’s leading au­to­mo­bile com­pa­nies are State-owned, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to cal­cu­late per­sonal wealth, he said.

Lu Guan­qiu, founder and chair­man of Wanx­i­ang Group Corp, and his fam­ily are sec­ond to GreatWall’s Wei.

Wanx­i­ang is China’s largest carparts maker with a mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion of $3 bil­lion. It in­vested in the UK, US, and 11 other coun­tries. The com­pany bought Fisker Au­to­mo­bile for $25 mil­lion this year and pur­chased US lithium bat­tery man­u­fac­turer A123 Sys­tems LLC in 2013.

Third rich­est is Wang Chuanfu, chair­man of the Shen­zhen-based BYD Co Ltd, one of three pri­vate car brands in China. Dur­ing 2008’s fi­nan­cial cri­sis, War­ren Buffett paid HK$1.8 bil­lion for a stake and be­came a ma­jor share­holder. Wang topped Hu­run’s rich list the fol­low­ing year. Wang and his cousin Lyu Xiangyang own 24 per­cent and 17 per­cent of BYD re­spec­tively.

Wang said in Au­gust the com­pany was un­der­go­ing “a sec­ond take­off” as it sought to in­crease over­seas sales of its elec­tric bus.

Trail­ingWang is Li Shufu, founder of Zhe­jiang-basedGeely Au­to­mo­bile Hold­ings Ltd, and his fam­ily. Last year Geely was worth more than HK$25 bil­lion and re­ported sales of $4.8 bil­lion. Profit was nearly $450 mil­lion. Li bought AB Volvo in 2010 — 83 years af­ter the Swedish com­pany rolled its first car off the pro­duc­tion line— for $1.5 bil­lion.

Chi­nese com­pa­nies can grow in the Euro­pean mar­ket by work­ing with firms there with es­tab­lished sales, main­te­nance and re­sale net­works, said Jac­ques Radé, a part­ner and au­to­mo­tive ex­pert at Roland Berger Strat­egy Con­sul­tants. That would keep to­tal own­er­ship costs com­pet­i­tive.

Nearly half the bil­lion­aires on the list own car brands, 36 spe­cial­ize in auto re­tail­ing and the rest in parts. Eight people from Ger­many and eight from theUS­made­the list. Four are from In­dia.

The global top three areBMWAG heiress Su­sanne Klat­ten, the com­pany’s deputy chair­man of the su­per­vi­sory board Ste­fan Quandt and his mother Jo­hanna Quandt, who own nearly half ofBMW. Con­tact the writ­ers at shi­jing @chi­nadaily.com.cn and wang­wen@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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