Can’t blame them for having a lack of ambitions: Great Wall’s Chairman and Chinese billionaire Wei Jianjun “has set a target for Great Wall’s Haval marque to surpass Chrysler Group LLC’s Jeep and become the world’s best selling SUV-dedicated brand in three to four years,” Bloomberg writes.
Great Wall “has started construction of a new research center the size of 35 soccer fields in the city of Baoding, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Beijing. He plans to increase the number of engineers by at least 40 percent to more than 10,000” says the wire.
SUVs are China’s fastest-growing segment. Jeep and Jaguar Land Rover are about to start production in the country. Great Wall is a leading player in China’s fledgling car export market and has built SKD assembly plants in close to 10 foreign countries. In 2015, Great Wall wants to have 24 overseas SKD plants, with an annual production capacity totaling 400,000 units.
According to Bloomberg, Great Wall “boosted its SUV sales to 279,956 units, according to its annual report. That compares with the 316,000 SUVs that Land Rover sold in the financial year ended March, and Jeep’s sales of 701,626 vehicles.”
Reminder: In 2009, BYD issued the startling announcement that “it’s our company’s long-term target, to be China’s No. 1 automaker by 2015 and to be the world’s leading car maker by 2025.” A year later, the plan was called off.