Feb 20, 2009
Local vehicle importer overcomes Chinese brand perceptionsBack
Africa|Great Wall Motors|Great Wall Motors South Africa|GWM SA|Motors|Africa|China|Russia|South Africa|Automotive|Motors|Product|Service|Henri Meistre|Motors|Motors
© Reuse this
When GWM SA was launched in March 2007, the company initially projected that it would sell between 3 000 and 4 000 units in South Africa in its first years of operation. To date, the company has sold in excess of 12 000 units in South Africa. While the company has been affected by the recent economic slowdown and experienced a drop in sales, sales still remain above what the company had initially projected from an annual perspective.
GWM SA MD Henri Meistre says: “The biggest hurdle that the company is striving to overcome is other Chinese brands.” Quality issues, poor service and parts backup have created a negative peception of Chinese-manufactured vehicles. Con- sumers are more willing in good times to take a chance with a lesser known, affordable brand; however, when things get tight, consumers become risk averse and rather buy a second-hand known brand than an unknown, new Chinese model, whose ser- vice and reliability are unknown. “Until all Chinese brands show their long-term commitment and attain a reputation for reliability, vehicles from China may be tarred with the same brush,” Meistre adds.
Existing gaps in technology between Chinese vehicles and leading brands mean that the need for improved quality is more important than sales at present. It is estimated that about 10 000 Chinese-made vehicles were sold in South Africa in 2007, and if improvements in quality and service begin to take place across the board, more and more Chinese vehicles will be able to compete with well known brands.
Great Wall Motors (GWM) is the first Chinese national automotive brand to pass the European Union (EU) E1 mark. This certificate demonstrates GWM’s conformity to production standards, as well as a quality management level on par with EU requirements.
Better than expected projected sales have resulted in South Africa becoming GWM’s second-biggest export market after Russia. In view of this achievement, GWM SA intends to add to its local product portfolio and venture into a completely new market segment with the release of its first passenger vehicle, the Florid, during the second half of this year. The Florid is one of a range of four passenger-type vehicles, which GWM SA intends to introduce into the South African market.
Edited by: Laura Tyrer© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Automotive Industry News
Swedish vehicle manufacturer Volvo Car Group’s new XC90 sports utility vehicle (SUV) will offer an unrivalled combination of power and efficiency with a dual engine, when the CX90 is revealed later this year.
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.