GAC’s brands prove a suc­cess

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By QIUQUANLIN in Guangzhou qiuquanlin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Edi­tor's Note: China Daily kicks off a spe­cial se­ries on home­grown com­pa­nies’ growth, brand­ing strate­gies and business operations. The se­ries will look at in­dus­try seg­ments like auto man­u­fac­tur­ing, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, new ma­te­ri­als, home ap­pli­ances, child­care prod­ucts and in­dus­trial ca­bles. The se­ries’ first part takes stock of Chi­nese au­tomak­ers’ am­bi­tious fu­ture plans.

Guangzhou Au­to­mo­bile Group Co Ltd, one of China’s ma­jor car­mak­ers, has long been known for its production and sales of Ja­panese car brands such as Toy­ota and Honda, since it es­tab­lished joint ven­tures with the Ja­panese car gi­ants more than a decade ago.

How­ever, the Guangzhoubased car­maker started de­vel­op­ing a home­grown car brand eight years ago, at a time when the do­mes­tic mar­ket was al­most en­tirely dom­i­nated by for­eign brands.

“Co­op­er­a­tion with the Ja­panese car­mak­ers in re­cent years has made a great con­tri­bu­tion to launch­ing in­no­va­tive and home­grown brands. We needed to boost our mar­ket pres­ence by launch­ing a high-end home­grown brand,” said Zeng Qinghong, pres­i­dent of GAC Group.

Thanks to in­creased ef­forts fo­cus­ing on re­search and development of self-in­no­vated tech­nol­ogy, GAC Group’s home­grown ve­hi­cles, un­der the Trumpchi brand, have be­come a hit in the do­mes­tic mar­ket, with an­nual sales in­creas­ing more than 80 per­cent year-on-year since it was es­tab­lished in 2008.

In the past 10 months, GAC Mo­tor, a sub­sidiary of GAC Group, sold more than 296,000 Trumpchi cars, a year-on-year rise of 126 per­cent, the com­pany said.

“We will fo­cus not only on the production of joint-ven­ture brands, but also home­grown ve­hi­cles,” said Zeng.

GAC Group has been po­si­tion­ing to de­velop three va­ri­eties — Ja­panese brands, Euro­pean and US brands, and home­grown ve­hi­cles.

“We are trans­fer­ring from sim­ply man­u­fac­tur­ing jointven­ture cars to de­vel­op­ing a pow­er­house of home­grown ve­hi­cles,” said Zeng.

Ac­cord­ing to Yu Jun, gen­eral man­ager of GAC Mo­tor, the de­mand for high-end home­grown ve­hi­cles has ex­ceeded the com­pany’s production ca­pac­ity.

The com­pany has se­cured or­ders for more than 18,000 units of the GS8 since sales of the seven-seat SUV were launched in late Oc­to­ber.

“Sales of the GS8 will reach more than 100,000 units a year as it is very com­pet­i­tive both in qual­ity and de­sign in the do­mes­tic mar­ket, which is tra­di­tion­ally dom­i­nated by for­eign brands,” said Yu.

The com­pany will make more ef­fort to ex­pand its ca­pac­ity to meet grow­ing do­mes­tic mar­ket de­mand for its high-end ve­hi­cles.

After the se­cond as­sem­bly line of its Guangzhou fa­cil­ity was put into op­er­a­tion in July, GAC Mo­tor be­came able to pro­duce 400,000 cars an­nu­ally. The com­pany is also build­ing an as­sem­bly line in the Xin­jiang Uygur au­tonomous re­gion and is up­grad­ing an­other fa­cil­ity in Hangzhou, cap­i­tal of Zhe­jiang province.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Work­ers as­sem­ble a GS8, a home­grown SUV, at the production base of GAC Group in Guangzhou, Guang­dong province.

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