Feb 20, 2009
Local vehicle importer overcomes Chinese brand perceptionsBack
© 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 News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
While strongly welcoming the promulgation of the new Part 101 of South Africa’s civil aviation regulations, governing the commercial operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) in South Africa, the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa...
LSM Distributors has contracted engineering consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa to undertake the R100-million restoration of the 54-year-old Kyalami racetrack, situated in Midrand. The restoration will assist in re-establishing it as a venue for...
South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has expressed the hope that the defence budget will be significantly increased over the next five years. She did so while addressing the media in her recent budget vote media briefing. The 2015/2016 defence...
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been an implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2008. The relatively young portfolio has 28 projects over 30 countries on the continent according to the 2014 AfDB and GEF annual report released...
Investment in South African youth through apprenticeships and learnerships will not only create direct benefits for businesses but will also contribute significantly to job creation and socioeconomic transformation in the country.
Article contains comments