Blog: China's JAC becomes the fastest growing brand in Brazil
Glenn Brooks | 12 May 2011
Thanks to a six-year warranty, low pricing and a high-profile celebrity* endorsement, JAC Motors (Jianghuai Automobile Company), a relatively small player in its home market, is starting to grab the attention of car buyers in Brazil. Last month, the company sold 2,093 units of its J3 series. While that placed the car way down in position number 34 just behind the locally-built Chevrolet Corsa hatchback, it was nonetheless the first time a Chinese model had entered the top 50 best sellers list.
For now, all JAC (which the Brazilians pronounce as 'Jack') models are imports, but with Chery having revealed plans to build a production plant at Jacareí in the state of São Paulo, might JAC be the next Chinese manufacturer to set up shop locally? Already JAC has added the larger J5 and J6 models, while the Refine, a snazzily-styled new minivan, went on sale in China earlier this month. Exports should follow. Russia is another potential high-growth market for the company - the Rein, a restyled first-gen Hyundai Santa Fe SUV was launched there earlier this month.
JAC is also on schedule for a late-2011 launch in Australia, a country where Chinese brands such as Great Wall are already household names (as at the end of April, Great Wall had 3% of the Aussie LCV market, a mere 21 units behind ninth-placed Volkswagen).
The world might be waiting for the Chinese to make their moves into the US and Europe but it seems other decently-sized markets are proving to be places where export success is already taking place.
*JAC has cleverly retained Fausto Corrêa da Silva, the hugely popular host of the long running light entertainment programme, Domingão do Faustão, as the face of its highly successful ad campaign.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....