SAIC Motor moves up 25 places, reaches 60th rank in Fortune Global 500 list

SAIC Motor Corp, the largest automobile company in terms of market capitalization in the Chinese stock market, climbed 25 places to rank 60th on the Fortune Global 500 list this year, the magazine announced on July 22.

It is the 11th time that SAIC had made the list. The company posted $102.25 billion in sales revenue in 2014.

During the first half of 2015, SAIC's domestically-made car sales hit 2.86 million units, further consolidating its dominance in the market.

Before the Fortune 500 list was unveiled, SAIC had announced its own ambitious new visions. The new vision says that the company will strive to "forge a world-famous innovative automobile company and lead the future auto life". It will also take the lead in seeking development through innovation and transformation.

SAIC has increased spending in key fields such as research and development, services and finance, and is working hard to increase its share on overseas markets, it says.

Moreover, the company will rely on innovation to improve its branding and technology as well as adapt its business models to the needs of an auto industry that is undergoing fundamental changes, so as to create a transformed and upgraded SAIC.

New energy, Internet and more

In the new energy field, SAIC will focus on core technologies in power battery, motor and electronic control systems, while stepping up new energy technology's industrial application.

The successful launch of the Roewe E50 pure electric and E550 plug-in hybrid on the market marked an important step for SAIC to go “from zero to one”, as the company made breakthroughs in core technologies concerning electric drive, electronic control and battery systems, surpassing its domestic rivals in this regard.

In future, SAIC will further build up its R&D capacities and expand its existing advantages. It plans to gradually roll out a series of new energy cars including the Roewe 950 plug-in hybrid, brand-new sports utility vehicles that are also supposed to be plug-in hybrids and all-new pure electrics.

In particular, the company will take the opportunity of the newly initiated Internet car project to forge an Internet-based auto ecosystem.

In March, SAIC and Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group jointly set up an Internet car fund in order to jointly build China's "cars on the Internet". So far, SAIC has completed relevant research and design work and expects the first of such kind of cars to hit the market in coming October.

On the other hand, SAIC's forward-looking technology agenda highlights differentiation, combination with capital and application of new technologies. The company recently has set up a venture capital in Silicon Valley, in a bid to explore new technologies, concepts and models to boost its future development with the help of the capital market.

This year, SAIC has set the goal for 60 innovative technological projects, covering fields like smart driving, Internet cars, human–machine interaction, new energy and lightweight design.

Auto service and finance

SAIC will continue to shape its online-to-offline (O2O) e-commerce business and accelerate the establishment of an ecosystem for the whole life cycle of auto consumption.

In March 2014, SAIC officially launched its O2O platform, which now covers the whole process of auto selection, purchase and after sales, as well as second-hand car trades. Its O2O car sales network has been expanded to more than 270 cities, with nearly 870 distributors offering services on the platform.

The O2O platform has also opened its own 2S dealerships, offering car owners convenient and efficient car use and maintenance services in the neighborhood of their homes including an experience with one-stop car purchase.

Furthermore, the company is exploring new ways of travel and has begun to pilot a time-share rental program with 50 Roewe E50 pure electrics put into use in the initial stage.

Last but not least, the company will integrate its financial resources and speed up integration between the production and finance sectors.

In the first half of 2015, SAIC set up a finance department which mainly deals with auto finance and equity investment businesses. It will forge an auto finance system that offers all-round financial services for the auto industry.

In April, SAIC Motor Insurance Sales Co was officially put into operation. The new company aims to provide users with competitive insurance services, thus helping boost SAIC's car sales and further promoting the integration of production and finance sectors.

So far, profits from the finance business only account for 8 percent of SAIC's total, in contrast to a rate of 15 percent to 20 percent for international auto giants. Therefore, the company's finance business has a great growth potential.

Tapping emerging markets

SAIC is pushing ahead with its international operation strategy through export of both products and technology, along with deployment of overseas production and operation branches. It hopes to set up a business operation model that is competitive on the overseas market.

So far, SAIC has set up plants and sales networks in the UK and Thailand. The UK company has benefited from the MG3's good performance, with sales lifted to more than 2,500 units in 2014, an fourfold increase from the previous year. The Thailand company debuted its first product, MG6, in June 2014 followed by the MG3 in this March. Currently, it is promoting the MG brand in an all-round manner.

Meanwhile, SAIC is actively pushing forward its Indonesian project. Construction of plants near Jakarta has been already started which is expected to manufacture a variety of models such as SAIC-GM-Wuling cars.

SAIC, as a leading stock in the auto industry strives to forge a reliable, responsible and innovative "blue-chip" image on the capital market. This year too, the company continued to reward its investors with high returns by handing out dividends worth 14.33 billion yuan in total, or 13 yuan for every 10 shares before tax. From 2012 to 2015, the company has distributed a total of 37.49 billion yuan in dividends.

In future, SAIC will continue to push forward its innovation-driven development and actively explore ways of sustainable growth, so as to accelerate the pace of building itself into a world-renowned auto company and make contributions to turning China into an "auto power" .

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