Guangzhou Auto unveils its model

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 September, 2010, 12:00am

Newly listed Guangzhou Automobile Group has started producing its first home-grown model, the Trumpchi, which is made on the technological platform of Fiat's Alfa Romeo.

Trumpchi, which means miracle in Chinese, sells for about 15 per cent less than the 180,000 yuan (HK$205,250) Toyota Camry.

Guangzhou Auto, a joint-venture partner with Toyota and Honda, expects sales of Trumpchi to reach 30,000 units by next year.

'When we reach 60,000 units, the business will contribute to profits,' said Wu Song, vice-general manager of Guangzhou Auto.

'By 2015, total sales should be 300,000 units and production will be 400,000 units.'

An initial batch of about 500 units is to be delivered by December, just in time to serve as the official car of the 2010 Asian Games, which will be hosted in Guangzhou.

Other state-owned carmakers such as Shanghai's SAIC Motor and Hubei's Dongfeng Motor have rolled out their own models, such as the Roewe and the Fengshen.

Similar to SAIC Motor and Dongfeng, Guangzhou Auto is looking to launch mid-range cars.

The central government has urged mainland carmakers to develop their own models in order to compete with global players, which are seeing huge sales expansion on the mainland.

Since the 1980s, mainland carmakers have been teaming with foreign players to set up 50-50 joint ventures for technology transfers.

'I learned a lot from Toyota and Honda about how to manage a factory and nurture talent,' Wu said. That provided him with the knowledge to lead the effort to make the company's own model.

Hong Kong-listed Guangzhou Auto, which privatised subsidiary Denway Motor this month, was also eyeing a listing on the mainland's A-share market in three to five years, its top executives said.

Made by China

Guangzhou Auto expects to sell 30,000 units by next year

By 2015, the company aims to raise that number to: 300,000