Top SUV maker to un­veil lux­ury brand

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By BLOOMBERG

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.”

REUTERS

Men check a Haval H6 made by Great Wall Mo­tors dur­ing the Auto China 2016 auto show in Bei­jing.

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