Sales of self-branded cars edge up

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 November, 2007, 12:00am

Mainland carmakers sold 940,300 vehicles under their own brands in the first three quarters, accounting for 27 per cent of total passenger vehicles sales, according to a Xinhua report.

Analysts said sales of self-branded cars were maintaining a 25 to 27 per cent share of the market. However, the industry faces resistance at pushing beyond a market share of 30 per cent.

'The self-branded car market still lacks a wide selection of mid-range cars,' said Fitch Ratings analyst Matthew Kong. 'Small, low-priced economy cars from Geely and Xiali can maintain sales, but the profitability is not good enough.'

Mr Kong said it would take time for these self-branded vehicles to assume a bigger share of the market for mid-range cars, given that mainland producers were still in the early stages of this push. 'Mid- and high-range cars especially have to be built by larger-scale carmakers such as SAIC Motor Corp because they have more resources,' he said.

SAIC launched its first self-branded car, the Roewe 750, in January. The model is priced at 230,000 yuan to 320,000 yuan. The company will show a new Roewe concept car this month at the Guangzhou car show.

Other carmakers, such as Guangzhou Automotive Industry Corp, which is also aiming at the mid- to high-range self-branded market, will unveil several concept cars at the Guangzhou show.

Dongfeng Motor and Great Wall Motor have announced multibillion-yuan investment plans to make their own brand of cars.

Last year, sales of self-branded cars captured about 26 per cent of total passenger vehicle sales. The proportion of self-branded cars sales this year has surpassed last year's mark by 1 percentage point.

Figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that sales of the top 10 brands - including QQ from Chery Automobile and Xiali from FAW Xiali Automobile - amounted to 683,300 units in the first three quarters.

The figures represented 73 per cent of total sales of self-branded cars on the mainland.

The manufacturers association had earlier said that in the first nine months, the mainland saw sales of 4.58 million passenger vehicles - including cars, sports utility vehicles and multi-purpose models - up 23.8 per cent from a year earlier.

Including sales of commercial vehicles, total sales reached 6.46 million units, an increase of 24.5 per cent.