As the only Chinese automaker exhibiting at the North American International Auto Show 2015 in Detroit，Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “GAC”) brings to the show three of its latest models, namely the GS4 (world debut), the GA6 Limited and the WITSTAR Concept. This is the second time since NAIAS 2013 for the automaker to display on the international stage its models in line with the future trend of the automotive industry and its commitment to continuous innovation.
GS4, a new benchmark for Chinese cars
The global premiere of GS4, a compact SUV, shows GAC Group’s confidence in development capabilities and manufacturing techniques. It is equipped with a 1.3 turbocharged engine. The small-displacement engine with high efficiency leads to both remarkable driving power and excellent fuel economy. The styling of GS4 follows its “light sculpture 2.0” and “flying dynamics” family design, reflecting its noble feature through refined details. In terms of interior design, GS4 makes the most of the internal space to offer drivers and passengers a comfortable and stress-free ride, and its backseats can be laid flat to offer a bigger load space. Speaking of safety, GS4 is equipped with all-round smart safety technologies, such as AFS, BOSCH 9th Generation ESP, TMPS, as well as the new generation Geometric Absorption Control.
GA6, another car displayed during the show, is a model developed on a brand new platform for the higher end market. It is dynamic in styling, representing the heights of the Chinese original design.
WITSTAR, innovation for the future
New energy vehicles represent the future direction of the automotive sector. WITSTAR, the concept of GAC Group, features robust power, energy conservation and intelligence.
WITSTAR is based on a sedan platform independently developed by GAC Engineering, the core of GAC Group’s R&D capabilities. It is powered by a range-extended drivetrain, with a highest stable speed of over 160km/h, a 0-50km/h acceleration time of 4.5 seconds, and a maximum gradeability of 32%. WITSTAR has a driving range of more than 100km under pure electricity mode and an overall range of over 600km, with the gasoline consumption less than 2 liters per 100km. In terms of intelligence, WITSTAR features its point-to-point auto-pilot mode. With the technology to choose best routes and identify obstacles, autonomous driving can be realized, at daytime or at dark. In styling, WITSTAR adopts an avant-garde design and reflects GAC Group’s direction in making future smart vehicles.
GAC Group has spared no efforts in its attempt to develop alternative energy vehicles. GA5 REV, a range-extended electric sedan, the first of its kind in China, was launched in 2014. It consumes only 16 KWH of electricity per 100km, with zero gasoline consumption and zero emission. Besides, GAC Group has established a joint venture to produce new energy buses with BYD, a Chinese automaker specializing in alternative energy development. The joint venture will expand into the international markets in the future.
So far GAC Group has built a world-leading base for developing and manufacturing new energy vehicles, with its core technologies in vehicle control, motor system integration, battery system integration, battery stretch and fuel cell vehicle integration, and the manufacturing capabilities in motors, batteries and controllers.
Strategies for global development
GAC Group is one of the six largest automakers in China. It boasts a complete industrial chain in six segments, namely passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, components, auto finance, insurance, trade and services, as well as research and development.
GAC Motor, GAC Group’s subsidiary of own-brand passenger vehicles, made public its global strategies at the beginning of 2014, which is to first tap the markets in the Middle East, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe, and then try to expand into the established markets such as North America and Europe.
Meanwhile, GAC Group has been actively going global in its marketing campaigns. The company served as a prestige partner of the 2010 Asian Games, and started title sponsoring the top table tennis events. It sponsored the blockbuster The Transformers: Age of Extinction in 2014.
GAC Group sold 1,172,310 vehicles in 2014, up 16.69% year on year. It remained among the Fortune 500 in 2014, rising 117 places from 2013. GAC MOTOR, its own brand, beats all other Chinese brands in the J.D. Power Asia-Pacific IQS.
In November 2014, GAC Group and Fiat Chrysler Group announced their plan to localize Chrysler models in China, adding to the current Fiat and Jeep products. The two sides also decided to establish an independent sales company. GAC Group released its “3+e” strategies in 2014 including its own-brand development, its partnership of the Japanese brands, and its cooperation with the European and American brands, plus a brand-new e-commercial strategy, in order to enhance the company’s overall competitiveness by integrating all its resources.
The “3+e” Strategies of GAC Group
GAC Group released its “3+e” strategies during the Guangzhou auto show in 2014, which cover its own-brand development, its partnership with the Japanese brands, its cooperation with the European and American brands, plus a brand-new e-commercial strategy, in order to enhance the company’s overall competitiveness by integrating all its resources.
Own-brand development: The development of GAC Group’s own brands will be based on two cores and four platforms, namely GAC Engineering as the core of R&D, GAC Motor as the core of production, while sharing the platforms of R&D, purchasing, sales and service channel and human resources. GAC own-brand companies will be unified in development strategy, production standards, resource sharing and overseas business. GAC’s own brands are expected to have a capacity of 1 million vehicles.
Cooperation with Japanese brands: GAC Group will strive to produce more competitive products and services to the Chinese consumers through the joint ventures with Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi.
Cooperation with European and American brands: GAC Group will deepen its cooperation with Fiat-Chrysler Group. Chrysler models are planned to be localized adding to the current Fiat and Jeep products. An independent sales company will be established to take charge of the sales, marketing, product planning and after-sales services for all localized and imported models of Jeep, Fiat and Chrysler. It is expected that by the end of 2016, there will be three Jeep models localized in China, and by 2018, there will be a full range of Jeep products ranging from compact SUV to full-size SUV.
E-commerce: GAC Group is planning to build a brand new and open e-commerce platform covering vehicle sales, after-sales services, auto finance and insurance, used car replacement and car rental. The platform will be open to all OEMs, dealers and service providers, so as to create an open and shared Internet ecosystem, satisfying consumers’ needs in car selection, purchase, use, maintenance and replacement.