Does GWM Like Naza’s Green Oranges?
By Automology October 8, 2013
China’s Great Wall Motor Co Ltd (GWM) is reported to have inked a deal with a Malaysian joint venture partner, which is said to be worth over USD600 million and the Malaysian company thought to be the majority partner.
The future plant is to be located at Gurun in northern Malaysia where Naza already manufactures vehicles for Peugeot Citroen. Sources have said that the new facility would include a research and development department and would manufacture energy efficient vehicles (EEVs) for the ASEAN market. It will have an initial capacity of some 80 000 vehicles per annum, and this would include both passenger cars and GWM’s popular pickup trucks.
To date, GWM has an almost insignificant presence in Malaysia where the Naza linked subsidiary, Green Oranges, run by Datuk Shalahuddin SM Amin, is the local franchise holder. Sales in Malaysia have not been stellar for GWM, who are based in Heibei and are listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange as a HKD175 billion company. GWM are thought to be the largest maker of sports utility vehicles in China but sales in Malaysia peaked at about 550 cars in 2012; pretty poor when you consider more than 600 000 cars were sold in the territory over the same period.
Around the world, the story is somewhat different for GWM who sold more than 600 000 cars themselves in China and exported almost 100 000, whilst racking up about UDS1 billion of profit for the year 2012. GWM also has a joint venture in Bulgaria which made them the first Chinese automaker to assemble in the European Union. However, cars from China are having a tough time outside of their native shores, chiefly due to concerns about quality and level of technology used.
Although the news came out during the Chinese Premier’s visit, Xi Jingping, and it is understood that agreements had been finalised, no official announcement of the deal has been made yet. It is thought that the Ministry of Trade and Industry is looking for an ‘appropriate’ time to make the announcement.