(Yicai Global) Sept. 20 -- Chery Automobile Co. and Great Wall Motors Co. [HK:2333] will attend this year's Frankfurt Motor Show -- dubbed the car industry's 'Olympics' --in the first instance of more than one Chinese carmaker displaying at the show in 12 years, The Paper reported yesterday.
A must-visit place for every Chinese reporter who travels all the way to Frankfurt -- Germany's fifth-largest city -- this year is Pavilion No. 8 at the Messe Frankfurt exhibition center where Chinese brands Chery and WEY – the latter a premium brand owned by Great Wall Motors Co. [HK:2333] -- will showcase their models.
Though China has been the world's biggest car producer for the eighth consecutive year, Chinese-branded cars are mostly manufactured and sold locally. They rarely appear at top international auto shows and are little known globally.
Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. [HK:0175] attended Frankfurt's car show as the sole representative of Chinese carmakers for the first time in 2005 and was assigned an awkward place at the mezzanine between two floors, an insider said. Thereafter, Brilliance China Automotive Holding Ltd. [HK:1114] and Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. took part in the auto show in 2007 and 2009, respectively, and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. [SHE:200625] attended the event in 2011 and 2013. No Chinese automaker appeared at the Frankfurt auto show in 2015.
Foreign media divine Chinese auto companies' intent to push into the European markets from their participation in the auto show. Chinese auto brands are infiltrating Europe, and Chery Automobile will try its luck there with new products, they noted.
Chery Automobile will attend the Frankfurt auto show for the first time this year to prepare to break into the European market, and that is its first step, said Chen Anning, its general manager. Chery Automobile, which has so far sold 6 million vehicles worldwide, is the biggest auto exporter among local Chinese carmakers. However, it mainly exports cars to the Middle East, Latin America and Russia, and has no business presence in Europe.
EXEED TX, a premium Chery model, will go on sale in the domestic market next year and become available in a few overseas markets later. However, another two to three years will be necessary before the model debuts in Europe. Chen cannot disclose details yet, but the company is already engaged in site selection in Germany for its European research center, he said.
Great Wall Motors will also enter the North American market in 2021 with its WEY brand, which will include traditional, hybrid and electric cars, in a bid to build it into an international premium brand, said Wei Jianjun, the company's chairman.