Great Wall Motor to boost capacity

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 March, 2011, 12:00am

Great Wall Motor, the mainland's largest maker of SUVs and pickup trucks, is adding manufacturing capacity and showrooms after profit more than doubled last year.

The Hebei-based carmaker will boost annual production capacity by 38 per cent to 550,000 units when its 4.5 billion yuan (HK$5.33 billion) Tianjin plant comes online, expected to be before July, chairman Wei Jianjun said yesterday.

Great Wall aims to sell around 500,000 SUVs, pickup trucks and sedans this year, an increase of 38 per cent from last year's record sales of 363,400 units. The firm also plans to increase its number of mainland sales outlets to 1,210, a 73 per cent increase from 700 showrooms and dealerships at the end of last year.

The company's full-year net profit rose 163.7 per cent to 2.69 billion yuan, 26 per cent above the consensus forecast in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Revenue rose 78.9 per cent to 22.17 billion yuan, in line with analysts' expectations.

Great Wall makes the best-selling domestic SUV, the Hover H, as well as a line of more upscale Haval-branded SUVs. Its sales of all SUV models rose 145 per cent to 136,982 units last year, and revenue from the segment rose 123 per cent to 9.43 billion yuan.

Great Wall's SUV sales accounted for 38 per cent of last year's sales by unit and 42.5 per cent of total revenue, and was the company's biggest profit contributor, executives said.

Wei said the company's long-planned issue of shares on the Shanghai market could be approved by mainland regulators as early as June, and the deal completed by September.