CHANGCHUN, Jilin – Xu Liuping’s first priority as chairman and Party secretary of FAW Group is to go all out to develop the company’s independent brand business and elevate its independent innovation capabilities.
The former chairman of China South Industries Group and subsidiary Chang’an Automobile Group made the comments on August 2 in front of FAW senior executives and employees moments after his appointment by the State Council was officially announced, according to excerpts of his speech obtained by Automotive Business Review (Qiche Shangye Pinglun).
Xu swapped places with Xu Ping, who was at the helm of FAW for just over two years, in what is so far the most significant executive shuffle in the industry and another involving two centrally administered state-owned automakers.
Xu also listed simultaneous development of both Chinese and JV brands and further strengthening of Party building and the construction of Party conduct and clean government as his No. 2 and 3 priorities.
“We have to face our problems head on, go straight to the pain points, conduct bold reforms, move fast, raise up our spirit, concentrate our attention, dedicate ourselves to achieve major goals in our independent brand development even with our backs against the wall,” said Xu. “The ongoing industry transformation provides an equal opportunity for everyone including FAW. We must follow the trends and accumulate our experiences but we also must speed ahead with bold breakthroughs.”
He hoped that through these efforts FAW can elevate its independent brand performance in 3-5 years, becoming the industry’s No. 1 brand and a world-class brand.
Xu indicated in his speech that he was happy to come over to FAW, known as the “eldest son” of China and the cradle of China’s auto industry. “It has made many numerous contributions to the industry over its 60 plus years of history and from a national and societal point of view, FAW must shoulder the responsibility of the ‘dream of an automotive powerhouse,’” said Xu.
Xu praised his predecessor for steering FAW over the last two years and maintaining its operational stability but also stressed that the core issue for FAW under a new normal is how to transform itself and quickly elevate its independent development capabilities.
The auto industry, according to Xu, is currently undergoing drastic transformation and an evolution is imminent, as reflected by rapid changes in consumption habits, emergence of new business models and ecosystems as well as disruptive technologies in the new energy vehicle and autonomous driving space.
In China specifically, the industry is already in a “warring” state where multinational heavyweights, domestic Chines companies, state-owned enterprises, private companies, traditional automakers and a slew of “internet carmakers” are competing to survive.
“The strong will eat up the weak and the fast will take over the slow,” said Xu. “It is possible that within five years many of these players, including both joint ventures and independent Chinese companies, will fail. But at the same time many new players could emerge to become winners and world-class companies.”
For FAW, Xu plans to instill the “dual care” and “dual promotion” culture that were crucial to Chang’an’s success. The “dual care” culture means mutual caring between the enterprise and its employees aimed at creating and sharing value simultaneously, while the “dual promotion” culture denotes mutual promotion between Party building and manufacturing to ensure clean Party conduct.
“We have to use the lever mechanism of power, responsibility and benefit so that everyone’s intelligence and wisdom can be released,” said Xu. “I hope that the leadership team will support and help me as we try to achieve new brilliance at FAW.”