Luo Minggang, Executive Vice President of Chang’an Ford Mazda, said the company surely has plans to launch its own-brand models, which are currently under consideration.
Fill the low-end market with self-developed brands
Luo Minggang said that the existing product line-up of Chang’an Ford Mazda stays in the high-end market segments. For instance, the Fiesta is a high-end small car brand, Focus, high-end mid-size car brand, Ford S-Max and VW Touran, high-end MPV brands. While Mazda 2 and Mazda 3 are the representative brands for the high-end compact cars.
However, the mid- and high-end models are actually facing many market opportunities, and the self-brand models of joint ventures’ can fill this gap. In addition, the high-price, high-quality high-end vehicles are obviously not enough in a vast auto market like China.
Targeting at the 2nd- and 3rd-tire markets
The immediate cause for this urgent demand for launching self-brands is that Chang’an Ford feels the weakness of its existing product portfolio if it expects to expand the second- and third-tier markets.
This feeling became stronger in 2009. At the Guangzhou Auto Show last year, an executive of Chang’an Ford told reporters some difficulties the company met with when exploring the second- and third-tier markets, adding that some of the self-developed brands have deeply studied the demand of the second- and third-tier markets and launched the low-price large-size models which have developed rapidly. However, Chang’an Ford’s flagship vehicles are the fashionable European dynamic models. This executive has also revealed that the company will consider making a special “mid-size” car for the second- and third-tier markets.
Moreover, in the early construction of the networks, Chang’an Ford mainly focused on the first-tier market and ignored the second- and third-tier markets. Therefore, it now pays closer attention to the exploration of the second- and third-tier markets. Most of its future new dealers will also be concentrated in the two markets. The difference between consumers of the first-tire market and that of the second- and third-tier markets is narrowing when buying cars now, a regional manager of Chang’an Ford told reporters.
Luo Minggang revealed that Chang’an, Ford and Mazda are currently making a series of short- and mid- and long-term plans to ensure their joint venture’s walking at the forefront, and one of the important parts is about the launch of the own-brand models.