Business / Motoring

GAC Motor sales jump 63%, outperforming peers

By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-12 09:24

GAC Motor sales jump 63%, outperforming peers

Hiro Matsunaga, chief editor of Car Styling, in a GS4 during a test drive. He praised both its looks and performance.Photo by Qiu Quanlin / China Daily 

In its March edition, Car Styling, a Japanese magazine featuring designs of international cars, said the GS4, a star SUV model developed by the Chinese carmaker GAC Motor, was leading the way for GAC to take tremendous steps forward, thanks to its superior design and quality.

Sales of the GS4 surpassed 30,000 units in January, realizing a monthly increase for 10 consecutive months after it was launched in April last year, according to the company.

Driven by the inspiring sales of the GS4, GAC Motor sold 79,400 units of cars in the first quarter of this year, a year-on-year increase of 170.9 percent over the same period in 2015, according to a company source.

In its four-page report, Car Styling hailed the GS4 as a Chinese homegrown star in the limelight of the SUV market. According to the report, seven Chinese homegrown SUV brands were among the top 10 SUVs in the Chinese market in 2015, with GAC's GS4 distinguishing itself from the pack and strengthening its market presence. Sales of the popular GS4 have been over 20,000 units per month since October last year, according to the report.

"Chinese brands are now good at both design and quality. I am expecting the GS4 will be on roads in Japan in the near future," Hiro Matsunaga, the chief editor of Car Styling, said during a visit to GAC Motor in January.

GAC, a division of the Hong Kong- and Shanghai-listed Guangzhou Automobile Group Co, focuses on research and development of vehicles under the Trumpchi brand.

Matsunaga was first impressed by the GS4 during an auto show in North America in early 2015, to which GAC had brought the SUV with the aim of tapping the international market.

"We are very impressed by the GS4's interior and exterior design. The number of sales since its launch prove its exceptional design and quality," said Matsunaga.

During his visit to GAC Motor, Matsunaga had a trial drive of the GS4, and he was further impressed by its performance.

"Although we had to put together the design in an extremely short time, we developed the styling with a focus on two points-quality and freshness," Zhang Fan, design director of GAC Motor, was quoted as saying in the Car Styling article. The GS4 has great appeal with younger generations, according to the report.

"The staff working on the design of GS4 were all young-the very image of the target users. Because of that, they worked on the project with great commitment to make what they wanted," Zhang said.

The GS4 has many things in common with the latest GS5, especially with the exterior.

"Unifying the design language, we crafted the GS4 into something new and impressive, making people know at a single glance that it is the same brand," Zhang said.

In the report, the Japanese magazine highlighted the entire lineup of GAC Motor, including its first sedan the GA5, GS5, GA3, GA3S, GS5 Super, GA6, GS4 and the GA8, a luxury sedan due to be launched in mid-April.

"The size and character are different depending on the model, so the design differs, too. However, as part of the GAC Motor family, their DNA will not change-we want to have market appeal throughout our lineup," Zhang said.

In addition to Car Styling's coverage of the Chinese home-developed model, a number of renowned international media groups including Reuters and Bloomberg have also hailed GAC Motor as one of the best and fast-developing Chinese car brands.

The number tells of brand's success. Amid China's slowing automobile market in 2015, GAC Motor sold more than 190,000 units of vehicles last year, with a year-on-year increase of 63 percent, according to the company.

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