How are Chinese сar brands going to conquer Europe?
Chinese automakers are very serious about expanding in Europe. Such brands as Borgward, Geely or its Lynk & Co premium subbrand do much to attract European buyers. What are their chances, the journalists of the British magazine Autocar tried to understand.
“Make the brand instantly recognizable, and that will be the key to our success,” are the words of Anders Warming, a head of the Borgward project. In fact, this is the plan for how the automakers of the People’s Republic of China will be able to gain the mature markets of Europe and the United States.
Borgward is the most recent example. The old German brand was revived when it was purchased by an investor from China. Analogies can be made with the British Mini after it was bought by BMW.
Today fast-growing Chinese auto companies need strong brands that are not tarnished by the failures of the formation of existing brands. The Brilliance’s failure of sales in Europe clearly illustrates this.
The Chief Designer of the Guangzhou Automotive Company (GAC) Zhang Fang says:
When you create a new brand, you can set it to a certain height, start with it, and then promote it. This is easier than taking an existing brand and striving to develop it, because people are already accustomed to the fact that under this brand cheap cars with poor quality were sold.
GAC launched its Trumpchi brand in 2011. For a short time more than half a million cars were sold under it.
Skoda, Hyundai and Kia passed a difficult way in Europe, but they achieved success.
Well known Great Wall, with its premium Haval brand, today took 60% of the Chinese market of large SUVs. In 2017 the company creates another brand – Wey. Even more expensive models than Haval will be produced under it. Moreover, Wey is created precisely for Europe and the USA.
The safety of cars under new brands is a key issue. Crash tests should not just be passed, but surpassed. The plans of Brilliance to enter the European market were completely disrupted by the Euro NCAP committee. Its models did not pass independent tests.
The Lynk & Co brand, which belongs to the huge and rich Geely Group, the modern owner of Volvo, enters the German market in 2019. Borgward cars will be on sale in Germany in the spring of 2018.
The Lynk & Co 01 is built on the same platform as the Volvo XC40
Here, however, there is one more important point. If the design of modern Chinese models under the new brands is all right, then there are problems with the technical part and with the prices.
The Borgward BX7 TS crossover will cost from €44,000. For comparison: an initial price of the commensurate Audi Q5 is €40,000, the Mercedes-Benz GLC costs €45,000. Chinese cars should maintain a price advantage. A logical question arises: does a European need a Borgward car?
It does not go at all about the dynamic and driving characteristics. The non-alternative 2.0-liter turbo motor and seven-speed two-disk automatic transmission are not enough for Europe.
Source – Autocar