SAIC Motor Corp: 5 interesting facts

by Nilesh Wadhwa 30 Jun 2017


On June 28, SAIC Motor Corporation, China’s largest automobile manufacturer, confirmed plans to manufacture and market passenger cars in India from 2019. While the company did not release specific information as to the location of the plant (it could be the defunct GM India plant in Halol, Gujarat) and the manufacturing capacity, what it did announce is that its MG brand would be the first to roll out in the Indian market.   

With this announcement SAIC will become the first Chinese automaker to enter India, which is billed to become the world’s No. 3 automobile market in 2020. Since not much is known about the SAIC brand in this part of the world, here looking at some hard facts.

1: Brands owned and JVs
The Shanghai-headquartered SAIC Motor owns the MG, Roewe and Maxus brands, and has successful partnerships with Volkswagen and General Motors along with JVs including SAIC-VW, SAIC-GM and SGMW. All put together, it has an expansive range of around 114 vehicles across different segments.

2: Financial strength
SAIC has an annual turnover of over US$ 100 billion (Rs 631,700 crore). The company entered the Annual Fortune Global 500 list ranking 461 in 2004 quickly has climbed the ladder. By July 2016 it climbed to its peak, ranking 46th rank on the list, thanks to its $106.68 billion revenue.01

3: Sales: 6,488,867 units in 2016
The Chinese major sold a staggering 6,488,867 vehicles in calendar year 2016, registering near-10 percent year-on-year growth. The growth trend continues this year too. In May 2017, SAIC sold a total of 500,325 vehicles, witnessing growth of 4.34 percent YoY (May 2016: 466,035).

To put these numbers into perspective, the Indian domestic automobile market saw sales of 3,760,959 vehicles (passenger and commercial vehicles combined) in FY2017. In CY2016, SAIC's sales of 6,488,867 vehicles in its domestic market represent 72 percent more than India's total sales for a 12-month period. 

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In 2016, SAIC Volkswagen Automotive Co sold more than 2 million vehicles, up 10.5 percent year-on-year, becoming China’s first passenger vehicle company whose sales topped 2 million. SAIC Maxus sold 1.89 million vehicles, up 7.7 percent year-on-year. SGMW continued to be the first in terms of sales for a single brand as its sales rose 4.4 percent year-on-year to 2.13 million units. Sales of passenger vehicles under the group’s self-owned brands surged 89.2 percent year-on-year to 322,000 units, while its self-owned commercial vehicle marque Maxus saw sales hit 46,000 units, an increase of 31.6 percent, despite a steep drop seen by the Chinese light van market.

4: Rising exports
Despite Chinese carmakers suffering from declining exports, SAIC exported 118,000 vehicles in the first half of 2016, up 48 percent year-on-year, taking first position in China for the first time. SAIC earned foreign exchange totaling $2.82 billion through exports, up more than 60 percent year-on-year.

It has set up business networks in Europe, North America, South America, ASEAN, Africa and Australia, comprising frontier research, R&D and production, marketing services, investment and financing platforms, and international trade. It has 73 overseas car parts facilities, which supply products to developed markets such as the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, and has made initial progress in multinational operation. SAIC has also kicked off construction on a new plant in Thailand, and is pushing forward construction of a vehicle and parts park in Indonesia, which will be up and running in the third quarter of 2017.

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Last year, Roewe eRX5 plug-in hybrid debuted in the local market.  

5: New energy vehicles
Currently, SAIC is capable of mass-producing the first-generation EDU intelligent electric power transmission, with key technological breakthroughs made in the second-generation EDU. It has also kicked off mass-production of its self-owned battery management system. In 2016, plug-in hybrids Roewe e950 (sedan) and eRX5 (SUV), as well as pure electric Maxus MPV EG10, successfully debuted on the market. Sales of new energy vehicles under SAIC’s self-owned brands jumped 80 percent year-on-year to surpass 20,000 units.

SAIC Motor dominated China's humongous market with a share of 22.6 percent in 2016. Will it be able to replicate its China success story in India? 


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