Top SUV maker to unveil luxury brand
Great Wall Motor Co said it will introduce a new premium brand to target the high-end market, joining Zhejiang Geely Holding Group among Chinese automakers seeking to upgrade from offering cheap, utilitarian cars.
The SUV maker led by billionaire Chairman Wei Jianjun plans to unveil its upscale WEY brand on Nov 16, the same week as the opening of the Guangzhou Auto Show, according to a statement from the Baoding, China-based company. The automaker said it will release details about its model lineup and marketing schedule when they’re finalized.
Wei has built Great Wall into China’s biggest SUV maker by offering Chinese consumers spacious models with a higher ride and at cheaper prices than sedans made by foreign brands like Volkswagen and Buick.
That strategy helped propel the company to a 33 percent sales surge last month and has positioned Great Wall for a record year in deliveries.
“It’s time for established local Chinese automakers to go upscale given that they have the technology and product reserves they didn’t have in the past,” said Yale Zhang, a managing director at researcher Autoforesight Shanghai Co. “With a new brand, Great Wall will be able to market higher priced models to consumers that it would have otherwise found difficult to attract using existing brands.”
Men check a Haval H6 made by Great Wall Motors during the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing.