Why should I want to be Toyota? They’re losing billions.
Today’s Quote Of The Day comes from the executive of a certain up-and-coming automaker with dreams of becoming a global player. Think you know who it is? Here’s a hint: it’s not Ed Whitacre.
Geely CEO Li Shufu is the man responsible for that little nugget of wisdom, as he gloats about his firm’s success to Bloomberg. With $334m in backing from Goldman Sachs and a stock that rose 573 percent on Honk Kong’s Hang Seng index this year, Li has good reason to be confident in his company. But confident enough to ignore the keys to Toyota’s success, which has been unmatched in the industry until about 18 months ago? Not quite. Li’s bon mot was more of a jab at archrival BYD, which has publicly stated that it intends to surpass Toyota by 2025. In fact, just a year ago Li told Gasgoo:
We would like to be a global brand just like Toyota. We will make the products at locations close to the market, and develop our models and technology in line with demand. We will produce many models at a low cost, just like Toyota.
In any case, Geely’s ability to compete with Toyota will soon be tested outside of the Chinese domestic market. In August, Geely begun production of its first “global” model: the Emgrand EC718. As this ad unsubtly indicates, the EC718 is clearly intended to be Geely’s warning shot at the West. However, even China Daily admits that Chinese manufacturers are finding the European market a tough nut to crack, with five Chinese firms selling only 745 units in the EU in the first three quarters of 2009.