An overview of new car brands from the past 3 years
A quick glance at the local auto industry is enough to tell you that Chinese automakers have started to enter. began to challenge more traditional brands from Japan, Korea and the United States.
The last three years may not have been the first time for them to enter the Philippine market, but because their products are better designed and manufactured than ever before, they now have the ingredients to be successful. In addition, these Chinese brands have moved away from family operations and are now supported by major players in the local automotive scene. All in all, they are here to stay.
Here is a list of seven Chinese brands that have proven to be strong competitors in the local auto scene over the past three years (listed in alphabetical order).
Changan is one of the largest Chinese car manufacturers. In 2019 alone, they managed to produce 1.3 million vehicles. Their name is a combination of two characters, “Chang” and “An”. Taken together, it means “Enduring Security”. Throughout their more than 37 years of vehicle manufacturing, they’ve developed cars that are affordable, yet rich in value. Although they have joint ventures with Mazda and Ford, they devote five percent of their annual turnover solely to R&D. It is true that their V-shaped logo, intended to embody “victory” and “value”, has proven its worth by being highly ranked by the Initial Quality Study (IQS) of JD Power China.
Locally, Changan changed hands several times before ending up with Changan Motor Philippines, a sister company of the formidable Philippine distributor of Hyundai, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. or HARI. With mom. Fe Perez-Agudo at the helm, they’ve made progress with their five-year / 150,000-kilometer warranty and more than 39 dealers and outlets nationwide.
Unknown to many, Chery is the first automobile brand to be exported from China. Suffice to say that things did not go as planned. Scarred by quality issues, they learned they had to step up their game. While the brand was founded in 1997, it quickly learned the ropes. She set up a holistic system of technical and product R&D and hired global talent. They even invested in the development of their own powertrain and streamlined the development of their platform. Today, they export more units than MG, JAC and Brilliance Auto combined (the next three biggest exporters), and that doesn’t even count their joint venture with Jaguar Land Rover.
Under the leadership of United Asia Automotive Group or UAAGI, Chery hopes to become one of the leading automotive brands in the Philippines. In addition to offering an industry-leading 10-year / 1 million-kilometer engine warranty in addition to the usual five-year general warranty, Chery also offers three years of free PMS. Beyond sales and after-sales efforts, UAAGI President Rommel Sytin has also invested heavily in branding with his own bespoke smartphone app. They are also the only ones who openly support both TV stars and sports, two things Filipinos love as much as cars.
A fairly young automotive company, GAC was founded in 2008. But since then it has grown very rapidly. Now the sixth largest Chinese automaker, they pride themselves on having the largest number of joint venture partners: Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and Jeep. This has allowed them to incorporate exceptional quality into their vehicles, giving them a five-star safety rating on all of their vehicles, the first Chinese automaker to do so. Beyond safety, they are the first to adopt Chinese craftsmanship as world-class with their “Go And Change” campaign. According to them, it goes beyond providing cars that have value. It’s about making vehicles that make life easier and make driving fun.
Locally, GAC appointed Legado Motors, Inc. in 2018 as the exclusive distributor. The brand may have started slowly, but its pace has picked up since then. Already proving the durability and reliability of their vehicles in many local endurance races, they are also aiming to increase sales and open more showrooms over the next two years.
Private automotive group based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, Geely made headlines when it was acquired as Volvo in 2010. It was a big deal, after all they were best known for small cars and cars. refrigerator parts. Now their president believes their path to success lies in improving the perception of Chinese brand cars. Today, Geely’s “circle of friends” includes not only Volvo, but Lotus as well. They are also the largest shareholder of Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz.
Geely’s rapid rise to global stardom undoubtedly sparked the interest of Sojitz Corporation, a “sogo shosha” or general trading company that was also a former shareholder of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines. In 2019, they released the small Coolray SUV which has since become the best-selling subcompact SUV. They are also currently one of the best-selling car brands locally with the ambition to place in the top five over the next few years. World-class products aside, their meteoric rise is also fueled by their dealer partners who are all industry veterans such as Yuchengo Group, ANC, Gateway and Autohub.
A wholly owned vision of Changan, Kaicene (pronounced as Kai-chen) specializes in vans, utility vehicles and light trucks. The name is a combination of “song of triumph” and “a bright future” which represents a fusion of the two ideals to which this company aspires.
This brand entered the country in 2020 when Berjaya Auto Asia renamed its vehicles to Kaicene after Changan awarded the distribution of its passenger cars and SUVs to Changan Motor Philippines. Currently, they have three models dedicated to the transport of people, business and logistics: the Honor S truck, Star Truck and X5.
The last two brands on this list have a common history as they both belong to the same parent company in China, SAIC Motors. They also just happen to have a British heritage, a product of SAIC Motors which acquired them in the 2000s.
The Maxus brand itself is relatively new, established in 2011. However, its roots go back to Leyland Motors, a British brand that dates back to 1896. Initially named after a line of commercial vans, the LDV Maxus, it has been transformed. in the commercial vehicle brand of SAIC Motors. Today, Maxus presents itself as “a Chinese brand with an English tradition”. Its logo, a combination of three triangles, represents the brand’s pillars of technology, trust and progress.
In 2019, Maxus was launched in the Philippines under AC Motors, a subsidiary of Ayala Corporation. They said that as Filipino auto buyers have increasingly turned to light commercial vehicles, they aim to offer vans, pickup trucks and SUVs, which offer greater utility and greater utility. flexibility to meet a wide range of business and lifestyle needs, along with improved comfort and handling. It became the sixth automobile brand in Ayala’s team, joining Honda, Isuzu, KTM, Kia and Volkswagen.
Morris Garages or MG is a British brand created in 1924. Better known for its two-seater sports cars, it has had several owners. It was on the verge of making history but was rescued in 2005 by the Nanjing Automobile Group. Three years later, SAIC Motors merged with Nanjing Automobile Group and also acquired the MG brand. SAIC says MG now stands for “My Glamor” – a clear sign that they are trying to appeal to the Chinese buyer. However, they haven’t forgotten the roots of MG. Realizing that young design and cutting edge technology are core values of MG, they have kept a design center in the UK complemented by other centers in the US and China.
MG’s strong sense of design and identity prompted The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI) to acquire the dealership in 2018, the first among the brands on this list. The same group that distributes Chevrolet then set up a very comprehensive brand introduction and awareness strategy. Their efforts have paid off. In 2019, they managed to break into the Top 10 best-selling car brands in the country, while in 2021, they passed the 10,000 sales unit mark.