Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group – Gearing Up to Build Own Branded CarsBy Cuong Huynh • May 25th, 2009 • Category: Clean Car Talk Posts
Editor’s note: This is part of a series of articles peeking into clean car industries and car manufacturers of China, India, South Korea and Germany. Please send comments and suggestions using our Contact page or by leaving a comment at the end of this article.
Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group is one of the significant car makers in China. Compared with other major Chinese car makers, Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group or GAIG has not been in the industry for very long since it was established back in the year 2000. It is, however, authorized to acquire state assets and receives subsidies from Guangzhou province itself. It has enjoyed huge growth since and is now named as the second in the “Big Five” car makers of China, which also includes First Automobile Works, Chang’an Motors, Dongfeng Motor Corporation, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, and Chery Automobile.
Guangzhou also has strong partnerships with Japanese carmakers Isuzu, Toyota, and Honda. It has partnered with these companies in the production of Isuzu buses, Honda’s Accord and Odyssey, and Toyota Camry. Currently, Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group is working on several upcoming models, most of which will be provided for the domestic market. Its joint ventures with foreign car makers are usually the ones exported overseas.
As expected, GAIG also responded to the call for clean cars as concerns regarding global warming and fuel emissions arise. In fact, it has invested around $900 million to the development of green, fuel-efficient vehicles, with optimistic goals to release the planned vehicles by 2010. Guangzhou will be introducing hybrid cars together with Toyota under the Guangzhou Toyota Motor joint venture. There are three strategic models as of now, and two have been introduced. The Toyota Camry was used as the primary platform for the new cars.
A-HEV Torino design hybrid
Guangzhou Auto Group, however, the company’s Chinese base, has also developed a hybrid crossover concept model known as the A-HEV. The vehicle was presented during the Guangzhou International Auto Show in 2007, but probably will not see production. Rather it may serve as a basis for things to come from GAIG in the future, as the company is responding to encouragement from the central government to develop original, Chinese-branded cars.
The A-HEV has been described as a promising clean-burning vehicle and is one of the most advanced technologies in China’s clean car industry. The A-HEV was developed with the help of Honda, Toyota, and Italy’s Torino Design. The Torino design was right on mark, meeting the requests for a “sporty and dynamic design but not at all aggressive,” as described by Torino’s design boss. The A-HEV has a unique body styling which uses polycarbonate panels and a drive-by-wire technology. Since it was released as a design concept car, no specifications regarding its speed and mileage have been provided. Nonetheless, Guangzhou is committed to pushing the project forward to contribute to the shift towards using green cars.
GAC VIP Lounge-courtesy chinacarforums.com
According to company website, “GAIG has established three modern automotive production bases and a batch of component manufacturing companies and service trade companies which are of high standard, professional and systematically administrated by cooperating with the world-noted companies, and has primarily formed 6 sectors, that is, passenger vehicle, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, component, service and trade, and R&D, concering business of automotive manufacturing, component manufacturing, R&D, service and trade.”
GAIG achieved sales volume of 510,000 vehicles and 890,000 motorcycles in 2007, and its auto group has invested about 6.8 biillion yuan ($973 million) in the research and development of its own car brand. New sedans like the concept VIP Lounge are expected to roll out of its new plant in 2010. Rumors has it that the GAIG sedan will be based on the platform of Alfa Romeo’s largest vehicle – Alfa 166.
Read more about Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co., Ltd.
Photos courtesy chinacarforums.com.
Cuong Huynh is a marketing communications consultant working in the San Diego area. Cuong is dedicated to helping individuals and companies maximize their presence on the Internet and efficiently take products and services to market through SEO and network marketing. Cuong also maintains a blog on Marketing at marketingautopsyblog.com. You can also find Cuong Huynh's profile on LinkedIn. For fun he maintains a blog on Vietnamese pho, soccer and do storyboards for movie and film projects. Follow Cuong on Twitter @CuongHuynh, @LovingPho, @CleanCarTalk, @BlockbusterFilm, @SoccerUSA.
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