Chinese auto coming to town

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Jianghuai Automobile Co. of China is introducing a line of commercial vehicles into the local market with the possibility of eventually putting up an assembly plant in the Philippines if demand justifies it, its local partner said.

Jianghuai, which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Market, has tapped Mitsui Trading Philippines to distribute its major products, which include light, medium and heavy trucks, as well as forklifts and coach buses. Jianghuai has sold more than 300,000 fully-built units worldwide.

“We will have an initial [sales] target of 200 units. Future brand growth can lead to an assembly plant in the Philippines resulting in local jobs,” said Angeli Tuazon, Mitsui vice president for marketing.

Mitsui is hoping Jianghuai’s line of high quality but inexpensive vehicles will find a niche in the Philippines.

“We are targeting buyers of surplus trucks which are no longer legal to import,” Tuazon said.

The Philippines is the latest in the list of countries that Jianghuai is entering into as part of its thrust to become a global automobile manufacturer. It has expanded its network to major international markets such as Europe, Russia, Latin America, Southeast Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East.

Jianghuai, with investments going beyond $640 million, said it would assure customers of topnotch design, advanced management methods, and modern manufacturing systems supported by information technology.

It has consistently retained its rank as China’s top exporter of light trucks while its bus chassis continues to be the no.1 brand in China for 12 consecutive years.

Jianghuai has dedicated itself to the pursuit of advanced technological development methods. It has established the JAC-Tongji Tongjie Automobile Research and Development Institute together with Tongji Tongjie Science and Technology Co. Ltd.

It also teamed up with Hefei University of Technology to create the JAC Automotive-Hefei University of Technology Institute, and founded the JAC Design Center in Torino, Italy in June 2005.

Mitsui Trading, meanwhile, was established in 1996 as an importer, distributor and dealer of vehicles, parts and accessories.

Mitsui has built a solid reputation for reliability and value among various small and medium enterprises and corporate entities in the country. Its roster of clients include top multinational and local corporations such as Nestlé, San Miguel Corp., Nokia, PLDT, SM Supermalls, Metrobank, Equitable-PCI Bank, Pagcor, Pilipinas Shell, ABS-CBN and American President Lines.

Mitsui will give local entrepreneurs the opportunity to see Jianghuai vehicles at the Philippine World Building and Construction Exposition on March 14 to 18.