SAIC Motor, better known for being the local manufacturing partner for both General Motors and Volkswagen, plans now to cater for its own local brands and increase sales.
The Shanghai-based automaker has a new chairman, Chen Hong, which took office in May, said during his first annual shareholders meeting that the investors need to have patience as a new program is implemented. The automaker – although the average industry sales jumped double-digits each month from the start of the year – barely increased its own brands sales in the period.
SAIC manufactures GM’s cars, building Buick and Chevrolet models, and jointly runs with the US automaker the Wuling minivans business. On its own, the Chinese company owns the British MG brand and the local Roewe marque.
China’s state-owned automakers – like SAIC – have been loosing market share in the face of the all out offensive of the foreign brands, who seek to increase sales and profits by tapping into the still growing automotive market in China – the world’s largest single market. Last month alone, the German brands took 28.7% of the sales, while Chinese brands only came second, with a 21.5% market share, followed by Japanese, American, Korean and French brands.