SAIC Passenger Vehicle Division shows remarkable growth in 2013
The SAIC Motor’s Passenger Vehicle Co defied the sluggish automobile market in 2013, closing the year with annual sales of 230,000, for a 15-percent year-on-year rise, which put the company on top in the Chinese brand market, according to the company’s latest marketing report. Even though this growth was around three percentage points behind the market overall, the Passenger Vehicle division still stood out from its joint-venture competitors. Sales are an important sign of an automobile company’s strength, especially during such periods of fierce competitions, as we saw in 2013. But two of SAIC’s major products, the Roewe 350 and MG3, saw brisk sales, thanks to the superior performance. The British boutique-style MG3 had sales of 45,446 for the year, up 11.8 percent in a negative-growth market segment, pulling out ahead of many strong joint-ventured products and coming in at only second place, to Volkswagen POLO A0. Meanwhile, sales of the Roewe 350, a sedan full of modern technological sense, were up 51.9 percent, to 113,033, and putting it among the 10,000/month sales club of similar sedans for four months in a row from September 2013. And it continued to go up and became the only member of the 10,000/month sales club among Chinese brands priced above 80,000 yuan.
Competitiveness and growing sales buck the overall trend
Continued product improvement is what is behind the good sales of the MG3, which adopted the UK’s MG design, in 1989, after four years by SAIC to integrate global resources. It doing so, it added to the essence of the brand, in individuality, temperament, and creativity, and won a large number of young customers after only two years on the market, thanks to outstanding performance and credibility. Meanwhile, the competitive strengths of the Roewe 350 have put it out ahead of some joint-venture rivals. In addition to its large space, superior safety features, human technology, and cost performance, it is also endowed with SAIC’s latest intelligent traffic system, inkaNet3.0, and is a pioneer in global car networking.
SAIC introduced its vehicle-mounted information service platform, inkaNet3.0, in September 2013, on the company’s vehicle-mounted information service framework to bring car owners the experience of integrated vehicle, cell phone and website functions. This allowed for a transition from just driving a car to using a car and is now China’s most convenient and efficient car-mounted intelligent system, providing the most considerate approach to solving car problems.
Golden dynamic and power upgrades
In improving product competitiveness, continued dynamic upgrades are a necessary part and SAIC has always put a lot into R&D and certainly, in 2013, its efforts paid off, as it brought out its dynamic, golden combination -- the MG5 1.5T 6AT – which uses a 1.5T Hyperboost engine and cutting-edge technology. It uses turbocharger technology for dynamic performance and fuel consumption of 7.2-liter/100 kilometers, with a perfect combination of performance and fuel economy. Its manual and automatic gearbox makes for a more efficient transmission and smoother shifting for a more comfortable driving experience. It reflects SAIC’s power assembly strategy and grasp of leading technology and puts the company in the forefront of power assembly R&D globally.
SAIC plans to bring out a small-displacement direct injection turbocharged engine and upgrade its power for greater competitiveness, to increase its market share. And it has come up with a dual-wheel driving strategy for the MG, which takes advantage of inkaNet and good power control to strengthen the MG brand.
Golden after-sales service ensures quality
These product upgrades and steady growth in sales have of course increased SAIC’s confidence in its products, but they have also resulted in better after-sales services, especially after SAIC announced its “Three guarantees” policy (for repairs or replacement or compensation in case of faulty products), last September. Its Roewe and MG series also extended their guarantees to cover 100,000 kilometers or three years, which was well above the Chinese standard of 60,000 kilometers or three years and the standards of many joint ventures, thereby showing SAIC’s confidence in its products, their quality, and the good faith of its customers.
Its after-sales service policy has resulted in very good reviews from SAIC customers, especially for its on-site service and dozens of service combinations at 299 branches across the country. It also designed a service delivery platform that covers even some underdeveloped cities, giving the company a 99-percent customer satisfaction rate and setting an example for other domestic car companies.
New energy strategy and plenty of innovation
The product upgrades cannot do it alone, without innovation, which is, in fact, a form of development that SAIC employed all along by looking for ways to develop new energy vehicles through independent innovation and industrializing new energy developments, and it has plenty to show for its efforts. For example, the Roewe E50, an urban boutique car, powered solely by electricity with the safest lithium iron phosphate battery system available, for zero pollution and emissions. The E50 swept the public off its feet, in 2013, with its superior performance after being on the market for a little over a year, and becoming the first vehicle of its kind to be used by the Party School’s new energy automobile center.
At the Guangzhou Auto Show, SAIC rolled out its Roewe 550 Plug-in, China first mass-production plug-in hybrid, which uses an advanced system and EDU intelligent electric transmission to hold fuel consumption to just 2.3-L/100 kilometers and a 500–km cruising range, providing the world’s most advanced hybrid sedan for Chinese customers.
SAIC was one of the earliest companies to come up with a new energy vehicle strategy and it has committed itself to developing a new energy industrial chain. The Roewe E50’s brisk sales and the announcement of the 550 Plug-in influenced SAIC’s new energy product layout and showed how extraordinarily effective and forward-looking it was in laying out a new energy chain, and it is expected to promote the industrialization and marketization of China’s new energy vehicles.
Breakthrough in sales and upgrading brand strength.
SAIC increased its sales innovations, along with its technology, for a brilliant step forward in 2013. The Roewe W5 is one good example, receiving positive responses in surveys. In 2013, it saluted China’s polar heroes during a trip to the North Pole, which also provided positive proof of the car’s quality. It also struck a chord with customers and increased brand recognition and credibility. SAIC also showed its ground-breaking spirit in another way, in cooperating with an e-commerce platform and by bringing out the MG5 Geek, at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November 2013. In this, the company employed an e-commerce platform for car orders to meet the needs of younger customers with online customization. In December, it joined hands with Tmall in a big sales promotion for the MG3, and ended up on top in single brand car sales.
SAIC already started exploring the possibilities of online sales back in 2010, and, by 2012, related sales hit 10,000, accounting for 5 percent of the year’s total and, with online sales in parts of Hubei province and the city of Hangzhou contributing more than 30 percent of the total, greatly augmenting the more common brick-and-mortar sales.
Branded technology -- satisfying customers and winning awards
At the 11th Guangzhou International Auto Exhibition, SAIC’s Roewe and MG series won 12 awards, including 2013 Car Networking Technology and Application of the Year, Most Anticipated Green Model (Roewe 550 Plug In), and Best Technology Innovation (Roewe 350), thanks to its quality, intelligence-cost ratio, and scientific innovation.
Also, the China Automobile Customer Satisfaction Index (CACSI) in 2013 showed gratifying performance from technology upgrades, new energy industrialization, and customer satisfaction, helping SAIC Motor’s Passenger Vehicle Division carry away many top awards. The Roewe 350 came out on top in customer satisfaction, while the MG3 came in second, with a high score of 77, only one point behind the champion, in user satisfaction. The Roewe brand’s services won first place among independent brands, with a score that even surpassed many major joint ventures.