(Yicai Global) July 27 -- Among challengers to China's leading new energy vehicle firm BYD Co. [SHE:002594] is its "ally" Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co. [SHA:601238, HKG:2238], which has multiple cooperation modes with BYD. Since this year, Guangzhou Automobile's subsidiary GAC Group has made a series of big moves in the field of NEVs. Not only did it increase investment in new energy cars, but also vigorously rolled out new models.
GAC Group's own brand GAC Trumpchi (Chuanqi in Chinese name) has so far unveiled three new energy vehicle models this year, including recently-launched the first pure electric SUV model, GAC Trumpchi GE3. In terms of new energy vehicles investment, GAC Group announced that its investment in NEVs in the first half of this year has exceeded CNY7.5 billion (USD1.1 billion).
Gu Huinan, the company's project preparatory work team leader, told Yicai Global that, in the face of China's stringent environmental laws and regulations and market demand, new energy vehicle project will be the main direction of GAC Group's independent business in the next five years.
GAC new energy vehicle firm, established in June, is a new energy vehicle manufacturing subsidiary of GAC Group. Yicai Global reporter learned from GAC insiders that GAC new energy vehicle firm will become a separate entity to operate GAC's new energy car business and GAC's many types of new energy vehicles are expected to be included in the GAC new energy vehicle firm's product line.
GAC Group plans its new energy vehicle capacity to reach 200,000 units by 2020. The annual capacity will reach 400,000 units after the second phase industry park of GAC new energy vehicle firm is completed by 2025.
However, GAC Group's new energy vehicle sales are still behind BYD's. Data from a Shenzhen-based research firm show that in the first half of 2017, BYD's new energy car sales were 34,634 units, taking the top spot in the country. In the same period, GAC Group, though it recorded rapid sales growth in the traditional fuel vehicles, has not been able to rank among China's top 10 in new energy vehicle sales.
"Although at present GAC Group has a certain gap with BYD in new energy vehicle sales, GAC's investment in this area has been significantly faster. GAC's new energy vehicle sales are still likely to exceed BYD in the future," Sun Muzi, director of automotive industry at a Beijing-based information consulting firm, told Yicai Global yesterday.