Chinese billionaire Wei Jianjun set a target for the Haval brand to sell more SUVs than Jeep in the next 3-4 years.
Great Wall Motor, who owns Haval, has already begun to build a new research center in the city of Baoding, on an area which could include 35 soccer fields. The company will also increase with 40% the number of engineers to more than 10,000.
“We want Haval to have the highest value for money,” Wei told reporters yesterday at the company’s factory in northern Hebei province. “We want to surprise our customers by that instead of just satisfying them.”
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Wei Jianjun is the 5th richest man in China, with an estimated net worth of $6.6 billion. Last year Great Walls’ profits were increased by a 90% surge in SUV sales, as more Chinese consumers are looking for this type of vehicle, considered to be more spacious than the conventional sedans.
“Great Wall’s growth trajectory has been pretty impressive,” said Ashvin Chotai, London-based managing director of Intelligence Automotive Asia. “That said, it looks a bit optimistic to want to be the biggest SUV brand in the world, especially since it doesn’t have a presence in the U.S., which is one of the biggest SUV markets in the world.”