Tue, Dec 21, 2010 - Page 11 News List

GAC unveils own-brand vehicle

Bloomberg

Guangzhou Automobile Group Co (GAC, 廣州汽車集團), a Chinese partner of Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co, was scheduled to introduce its own-brand Trumpchi car yesterday as the pace of sales growth slows for its Accord and Camry sedans.

Trumpchi is part of the automaker’s efforts “to build a first class brand,” vice chairman Zeng Qinghong (曾慶洪) said yesterday at an auto show in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou Auto, SAIC Motor Corp (上海汽車) and other Chinese automakers are speeding up development of their own models as they move from being low-cost assemblers of models developed by foreign partners. Chinese-brand passenger vehicles accounted for 45 percent of sales in the first 11 months of this year, compared with 44 percent a year earlier, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

A hybrid version of Trumpchi will be available next year and an electric model in 2013, according to the company.

Toyota and Honda have lost market share in China as European and US rivals are able to buy components at lower prices by encouraging competition among suppliers, Zeng said. Japanese automakers prefer the stability of working with parts makers to which they have close ties, even if it means prices are higher, he said. Components make up 70 percent to 80 percent of costs, he said.

Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, increased Camry sales 4 percent to 147,708 vehicles during the first 11 months of this year, according to researcher J.D. Power & Associates. Honda Accord sales fell 0.2 percent to 157,855 units, it said,

Guangzhou Auto, which made its trading debut in Hong Kong in August, may consider listing in China next year, Zeng said, without giving more details.

Shares in Guangzhou fell 1.7 percent to HK$10.31 as of 12:29pm in Hong Kong trading. The stock has risen 13 percent since the listing.

There may be more opportunities for acquisitions and cooperation with other automakers over the next five years, Zeng said.

Sales may rise 15 percent to 730,000 units this year, he said.

The Chinese automaker has a target of 3 million vehicles and 400 billion yuan (US$60 billion) in sales by 2015, Chairman Zhang Fangyou (張房有) said at the same event in Guangzhou.

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