By Wayne Xing
MACAO – China has entered the era of Chinese brands in 2015, according to Wu Song, president of GAC Motor at a seminar during the 5th China (Macau) International Motor Show at the Cotai Exhibition Center on November 6-8.
GAC Motor, which participated five years in a row at the Macau Motor Show, is Guangzhou Auto Industry Group’s subsidiary that makes the Trumpchi-brand cars.
(photo of Thumpchi)
Wu argues that local brands dominate the markets of all automobile manufacturing countries, be it Japan, the U.S., Germany or Korea. And therefore he sees an inevitable future for Chinese brands to rise in China.
In the world’s largest automobile market, Wu said, the growth rate of multinational brands is slowing while that of Chinese brands is rising. He listed a number of reasons why he believed that market developments in 2015 point to the beginning of “era of Chinese brands.”
“For people working in the auto industry,” Wu said, “The China Dream is really the Chinese branding dream. Government leaders are now riding in Chinese-branded cars, setting up a role model for government officials and consumers.”
“The rapid development of the Internet in automobile sales in China has also contributed to the rise of Chinese brands. But more importantly,” Wu emphasized, “the technology and safety levels of the Chinese brands are up significantly.” Wu proudly said that the Thumpchi has one the first place in three consecutive years of J.D. Power’s ranking by quality of new cars in China. The Trumpchi ranks 8th place among all brands sold in China in the same ranking.
“In comparison,” Wu pointed out, “a number of multinational brands have been trying to reduce equipment on their cars in order to maintain profit level, which has hurt their brand images.”
To prove his point, Wu said the market share of Chinese brands in the first nine months rose by 3 percentage points to 31 percent from the same period of 2014. The growth rate of Chinese brands in the first nine months was 21.2 percent year-on-year compared to the 6.3 percent growth of total passenger cars. Chinese branded SUVs now dominate the market. Of the top 10 SUV brands sold in September, Chinese brands took up six spots, or about 62 percent.
Wu believes that within the next 10 years, the number of Chinese brands among the country’s top 10 sales will rise from a single one to four or five.
GAC Motor was the only Chinese brand that exhibited at the North American International Auto Show last January in Detroit. Wu revealed that the company plans to enter the U.S. market in 2017.