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GAC Motor to spread success to overseas markets
GAC Motor, a subsidiary of Guangzhou Automobile Group, a major automobile manufacturerin South China, will sell its high-quality cars to overseas emerging markets and more developed regions, aiming to expand its global presence in the near future.

GAC Motor, a subsidiary of Guangzhou Automobile Group, a major automobile manufacturerin South China, will sell its high-quality cars to overseas emerging markets and more developed regions, aiming to expand its global presence in the near future.

"We will consolidate our leading position in Chinese car sales in emerging markets and accelerate our presence in the United States and Europe, which are traditionally seen as powerhouses in developing high-end automobiles," said Yu Jun, general manager of GAC Motor.

Yu made the remarks during an international distributor conference, held in late April in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province.

GAC Motor's overseas distributors and supply partners were present at the conference, showing their willingness to help boost the Chinese carmaker's presence in the global market.

"We are becoming a world-class carmaker in terms of the research, production and sale of Chinese homegrown vehicles," said Yu.

According to Yu, GAC Motor's global strategy included three phases-first entering the markets along the Belt and Road Initiative, then consolidating its presence in emerging markets and finally expanding to North America and Europe.

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, known together as the Belt and Road Initiative, were proposed in 2013 with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

"We are building a medium and high-end brand in the overseas market by developing cars of high quality and design," said Yu.

GAC Motor, founded in 2008 in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, will bring its flagship high-end models, the GA8 and GS8, to the overseas market this year, according to Yu.

The high-end GA8 sedan and the seven-seat GS8 have both seen fast market growth since they were launched last year. Sales of the GS8 surpassed 10,000 vehicles in March and April, making it one of the fastest-growing SUV models in the Chinese market.

The company, focusing on the research and development of Chinese homegrown vehicles, sold more than 380,000 cars in 2016 for a year-on-year increase of 96 percent, making it one of the fastest-growing domestic carmakers.

In the first four months of 2017, GAC Motor sold 163,000 vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 65.1 percent.

The Guangzhou-based carmaker has set a goal of selling more than 500,000 cars in 2017,with an ambitious goal of producing and selling 1 million cars in 2020.

Its overseas sales are expected to reach 60,000 in 2020, according to Yu.

"We will allocate more resources in terms of commercial promotion and introduction of newmodels to the overseas market, encouraging more international distributors to join hands withus to develop a world-class brand," said Yu.

GAC has already set up an R&D center in North America, which will act as a key growth engine in GAC Motor's international market strategy, according to Yu.

"The R&D center will be responsible for talent cultivation and advanced technology, helping us to achieve further global outreach," said Yu.

According to Yu, GAC Motor's best-value cars will enter the North American market no later than 2019, after the company completes market surveys, obtains local certifications and communicates with potential dealers.

To ensure the high quality of its cars, GAC Motor also signed strategic agreements with anumber of international auto parts suppliers during the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, or Auto Shanghai, in early April.

"By adhering to high international standards and establishing world-class car manufacturing systems, we are able to bring our brand to more global consumers with new products and services," Yu said.

Bareer Jassim, brand manager of Tasheelat Automotive, a distributor of GAC Motor in Bahrain, said local consumers had developed huge interest in the Chinese cars.

"The design and quality had helped to make GAC Motor's cars a popular brand in Bahrain. We are very confident that the market for Chinese cars will expand," said Jassim.

Since entering Bahrain in October 2015, GAC Motor has so far established a large exhibition hall and 13 second-tier sales centers in the local market, selling its star models, the GS5 Super, GA6 and GS4.

Sales of GAC Motor's cars accounted for 1 percent of the total in Bahrain in 2016, making it one of the best-performing auto brands in the local market.

Under a strategic plan to build brands first in the overseas market, GAC Motor has so far established a global sales and service network in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa and North America.

"After establishing the sales and service network, we are confident in the future sales of our cars in the overseas market," said Yu.

Editor:Joanna You
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