China rules SUV market

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-1 20:03:01

The SUV market is huge in China, and local company Great Wall Motor is in the lead. Photo: CFP

The sports utility vehicle (SUV) has become the fastest growing vehicle model in China. Motor corporations are piling into the lucrative market. Domestic SUV manufacturers have the leading edge in this market segment - the only field that local Chinese brands lead over joint ventures. Great Wall Motor for ten consecutive years has been the champion in the domestic SUV market.

Founded in 1984, Great Wall Motor mainly modified cars in its early years, and then gradually went into production of light trucks and pickups, eventually became China's largest pickup manufacturer. Nowadays, Great Wall Motor is China's largest SUV manufacturer. It has listed in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland, its market value reaching more than 100 billion yuan ($16 billion). Great Wall Motor's SUV model has brought the company bumper profits, reaching over 4.9 billion yuan in the first half of 2013, up 72.7 percent year-on-year.

In the first ten months of 2013, the accumulative total sale of SUVs reached 2.2 million units, up 53.8 percent year-on-year. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the sales of SUVs in the Chinese market is predicted to be over 4 million units in 2020.

However, the road was not easy when the SUV entered the Chinese market. General Motors was one of the first automakers bringing the SUV to China. It had a tepid reception. The main problem was the wide difference in consumer culture between China and the United States. Americans attached importance to the SUV's functionality, and did not focus much on appearance and interior design. But 15 years ago, Chinese consumers who had the means to buy an SUV cared a lot about a luxurious interior and good design. Meanwhile, the exorbitant price at that time also inhibited the market for imported SUVs.

When Chinese auto manufacturers began to enter the field and offered more economical products, the SUV gradually gained popularity. In 2002, Great Wall Motors launched an economical SUV that sold for 80,000 yuan. It attracted a large number of buyers who were hungry for an SUV but could not afford to buy imported products.

In the Chinese market, bigger is better. Consumers are attracted by the SUV's far range of vision, safety, comfort and ability to go off road.

Nowadays on the streets of China SUVs are everywhere. Its unique cross-country performance as well as its message of freedom and a pioneering spirit drive consumers to own it. There is no doubt a huge opportunity for SUV manufacturers in the future.

Posted in: Press Release

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