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 Transport & Logistics News
Article contains comments
Updated 2 hours 13 minutes ago A Spoor & Fisher partner on Wednesday called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to finalise its proposed policy for Intellectual Property (IP). The policy, which had not been drafted in consultation with IP law experts, was published in September 2013,...
Updated 2 hours 23 minutes ago Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has called on all government leaders to play a crucial role in ensuring that government departments and entities improve their audit outcomes. He has raised concerns over irregular expenditure, non-compliance with legislation, auditees...
Updated 2 hours 39 minutes ago The Somalia Stock Exchange expects seven companies in the telecoms, financial services and transport sectors to list their shares when the bourse is set up in 2015, its founder said. Somalia's economy is slowly recovering from more than two decades of conflict,...