GWM invites South Africa to GO WITH MORE

GWM South Africa shared its vision of its future at its Brand Renewal Conference held in Johannesburg, Gauteng, on 27 February.

For dealers, customers and partners who remember the first GWM Conference when it opened its doors sixteen years ago, the sight of over 600 attendees viewing four different brands and learning of a range of new technologies, products and exciting global developments was something to behold.

Indeed, GWM South Africa has grown from a small supplier of reliable pick-up vehicles to a local Top 10 powerhouse with a comprehensive offering of vehicles for every taste, application and virtually every customer segment.

“GWM’s growth over the past decade and a half is truly unique. As the only Chinese brand to remain in South Africa from day one, we have remained loyal to our customers and maintained a steady stream of investments in our dealer network and local infrastructure.

“The result is a well-established and healthy dealer network that stretches across Southern Africa, a parts distribution network to match that of other Top 10 brands and a loyal and growing customer base,” says Conrad Groenewald, Chief Operations Officer of GWM South Africa.

Many of these loyal partners and dealers attended the GWM Brand Renewal Conference to learn of the future of GWM and its brands in South Africa.

At the heart of the new GWM strategy is a decision to follow the global brand direction, which sees the GWM brand taking the lead, with its brands HAVAL, ORA, P-SERIES and TANK each serving its customer base under the global GWM brand.

The first taste of this new strategy was seen during the launch of the GWM ORA 03 and the GWM TANK 300.

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“There is a global recognition of the GWM brand from customers and corporations such as Forbes, which named GWM as one of its Top 30 Global Pioneer Brands.

“This is also true in South Africa where research shows a positive recall of the GWM brand among South African motorists and a brand affinity among owners with GWM, P SERIES and especially with HAVAL, which has been in South Africa since 2018,” says Bianca van Staden, Head of Brand, Marketing and Public Relations at GWM South Africa.

Van Staden says that the decision to group the four unique brands under the global GWM Brand combines all this brand affinity under one banner, which will be celebrated with the new marketing campaign “Go With More”.

“Our new campaign – Go With More – perfectly captures our approach as a brand. From the value and specifications you receive with any GWM product to our level of customer service, giving back to communities, giving you more products and more innovation, you can always expect more,” says Van Staden.

As part of the Brand Renewal Strategy, GWM has developed a new corporate identity that highlights the GWM main brand alongside its sub-brands.

Go With More, of course, also applies to the brand’s range of products. As the leading privately owned Chinese vehicle brand, GWM has a comprehensive product development strategy that includes all mainstream product categories and all forms of propulsion.

“GWM has publicly committed itself to developing a comprehensive range of New Energy Vehicles (NEVs). The result of this is already visible in South Africa, where customers can choose from traditional internal combustion engines (ICE), self-charging hybrids and all-electric vehicles,” says Groenewald.

At present, GWM offers products across a cross section of product categories and forms of propulsion, including SUVs, pick-ups (bakkies), 4x4s, family and city vehicles. Across these categories, HAVAL offers hybrid and traditional ICE propulsion, P-SERIES takes care of commercial duties with a choice of ICE vehicles, the GWM TANK range has a choice of ICE and hybrid options, and GWM ORA is a pure battery electric vehicle (BEV) range.

GWM’s NEV strategy goes well beyond these ranges, with plans for hydrogen propulsion well underway. All these technologies are under development by GWM and are not licensed from other companies. This means that GWM is spending an above-average amount on new technological developments.

In 2022, for instance, GWM spent 12.2 billion Yuan (R32 billion) on research and development. The company employs over 15 000 engineers across seven countries, and it has already been granted 22 000 patents, with 29 000 patents pending. More than 1 800 of these patents are global.

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To place GWM’s investment R&D into perspective, it represents over 8.8% of its global revenue. This investment has been well received by customers across the globe, who have pushed GWM Group vehicle sales to well beyond 1 million, with the aim of 50% of sales coming from markets outside China.

In South Africa, GWM has grown from a brand selling 2 000 cars in 2013 to a Top 10 brand selling more than 20 000 units a year.

GWM South Africa founder, Tony Pinfold, was invited to the Brand Renewal Conference to receive the keys to the very first GWM TANK 300, which he bought privately.

“I saw the new TANK and was immediately impressed by its design. When the salesperson told me that it has an off-road ready hybrid system with 255 kW, I knew I had to have one,” says Pinfold.

“If you look at the first GWM pick-ups that we imported into South Africa and the new GWM P-SERIES and other models today, you will have little doubt that GWM is a global force and that it will become one of the global top brands in the future.

“I am happy that I could have played a small part in the GWM story in South Africa, and I look forward to see what they will do next,” says Pinfold.

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“There is a new energy at GWM, both here and across the globe. On local soil, you will see this new energy take shape in the new-look GWM dealers and with our range of new products that started in 2024 with the GWM TANK 300, and it will continue with the GWM TANK 500, the P-SERIES P500, the HAVAL Jolion PRO and the HAVAL H7,” says Groenewald.

Fans of GWM can learn more about its new range, new brand and future plans by following #GoWithMore and visiting its social platforms or https://www.onegwm.co.za.

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