Great Wall Motors’ sprint history

Not built out by an engineer, not grounded by a car racer, the Chinese car brand Great Wall is owned by a billionaire – Wei JIanju. And that's where the story gets interesting. 

It is a totally obscure gathering in Europe. Today, Incredible Divider has become, through its fundamental Haval brand, on the world's driving car advertise. This gathering, greater part claimed by Chinese tycoon Wei Jianjun, has set up itself as the primary SUV brand in China. On the world's biggest car advertise (19 million units in 2015), where the SUV portion is detonating (+ 57% in 2015), this position essentially tallies.

Sustained growth, but limited business volume

Just look at the numbers. Great Wall's operating profit continued to climb between 2010 and 2014, going from 313 million euros to 850 million euros. The group recorded a 10% increase in turnover in 2014 to 8.5 billion euros. Admittedly, the group's sales volumes are far from reaching the business volumes of the global giants. Nevertheless, Great Wall is part of a real dynamic. Even the decline in sales did not affect its financial strength. In 2014, its sales actually dropped by 4.88% to 733,000 registrations. Sales of sedans suffered greatly from the sudden reversal of the Chinese market in favor of SUVs.

Fortunately, the brand invested very early in SUVs and has a catalog of 4 models in this category. More than many of its competitors. Great Wall has also chosen to attack the entry-level in order to make the most of the growth sources of the Chinese automobile market. Indeed, while the market has slowed sharply from a double-digit growth rate to some 7% per year, analysts believe that it is necessary to seek customers in the interior, where the power purchase is more modest.

Sustained growth, but limited business volume

Just look at the numbers. Great Wall's operating profit continued to climb between 2010 and 2014, going from 313 million euros to 850 million euros. The group recorded a 10% increase in turnover in 2014 to 8.5 billion euros. Admittedly, the group's sales volumes are far from reaching the business volumes of the global giants. Nevertheless, the Great Wall is part of a real dynamic. Even the decline in sales did not affect its financial strength. In 2014, its sales actually dropped by 4.88% to 733,000 registrations. Sales of sedans suffered greatly from the sudden reversal of the Chinese market in favor of SUVs.

Fortunately, the brand invested very early in SUVs and has a catalog of 4 models in this category. More than many of its competitors. Great Wall has also chosen to attack the entry-level in order to make the most of the growth sources of the Chinese automobile market. Indeed, while the market has slowed sharply from a double-digit growth rate to some 7% per year, analysts believe that it is necessary to seek customers in the interior, where the power purchase is more modest.

Global ambitions 

Because small among the great, Great Wall has great ambitions. For Wei Jianjun, the company must eventually become the largest SUV manufacturer in the world. Just that … Until then, the internationalization strategy was contained in emerging countries: Russia, Iran, South Africa, but also Chile, Iraq, Ecuador, Maghreb.

In fact, Great Wall has discreetly established itself in Europe by inaugurating in 2012 a small assembly plant for 50,000 cars in Bulgaria. It targets the East European market but is already capable of producing cars with a right-hand drive for the. British market. He already sells pick-ups in Italy. Great Wall even tries to venture into the United States, one of the most competitive markets in the world, where European generalists do not dare to set foot, but which is also the most important SUV market in the world. Great Wall wants to be everywhere!

Surprisingly for a totally private Chinese automobile group that does not benefit from any joint venture with a foreign manufacturer unlike the big Chinese groups such as DongFeng, BYD or FAW. On the sidelines of the Beijing auto show, Maxime Picat, boss of Peugeot, has also observed that "the brands that took off are not those that are in JV" , and to cite Great Wall as an example. "They fight without the funds that bring the JV, they forced themselves to be creative," says one who knows the Chinese market very well for having long managed the local subsidiary of Peugeot.

Serious quality issues

In the meantime, Great Wall must resolve important quality problems if it wants to continue and above all consolidate its international offensive. Haval had to postpone the launch of its H8 twice due to serious engine and gearbox faults.

It must be said that given its fantastic situation on the Chinese market, yet in addition to its small size, the Great Wall is the perfect prey for the individuals who need to settle or fortify in China. The Chinese government would be happy to see the union of a sector that has more than 40 players. It's difficult to envision that Beijing would let a foreign takeover. The Chinese market is full of surprises.