CGTV: Win with China: Domestic carmaker eyes high-end MPV market
The upcoming Fortune Global Forum in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has chosen Chinese automaker GAC Motor as its car provider. But what makes the manufacturer qualified to serve high-profile guests from around the world?
As China’s auto sector still tries to catch up with Japan and Western countries, GAC Motor has already taken a different route by tapping into the high-end multi-purpose market.
Last year, the company made a bold decision by pricing its new sport utility vehicle (SUV) model – GS8 – at over 30,000 US dollars, when equally expensive cars in the Chinese market are mostly from joint ventures or foreign automakers.
"We spent over 15 billion yuan into car research, and hired more than 3,500 developers from around the world. We don't imitate or copy mature products from foreign companies like many domestic brands do," said GAC’s President Yu Jun.
GAC Motor sold 376,000 vehicles in the first nine months of this year, a 46.8 percent increase year on year, according to the company's data.
Global car market research firm J.D.Power ranked GAC as the best quality Chinese car maker in September for the fifth consecutive year.
J.D.Power started measuring quality among Chinese carmakers in 2000, when there was a huge gap of 400 problems per 100 vehicles between domestic and international manufacturers.
"But this year, 2017, when we did the same study, we found out that the gap had narrowed significantly from 400 problems to 13 problems per 100 vehicles. In other words, almost catching up," said Jacob George, vice president of J.D.Power Asia Pacific.
GAC Motor is selling in 14 overseas countries. The company has set yet another audacious goal of cracking into the North American car market – the second biggest after China – by 2019.
Till now, no Chinese car brand has made it into the US market. And it’s not an easy target for GAC, either, as George noted that the company has to rebuild the Made-In-China image before going global successfully.
"In order to do that you have to make sure the quality is good. You have to make sure you have a unique selling proposition. For example, high technology, for example a green image or something that's unique that the customers want," said George.