SAIC Motor Expands In South American Markets With New Shipping Route

SAIC Motor
SAIC Motor's Roewe Marvel X (Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Jengtingchen)

While most Chinese automotive manufacturers may be having a hard time getting into the US markets due to the imposed tariff hikes and the ongoing trade tensions, SAIC Motor Corp is now looking into penetrating the US' southern neighbors. The Shanghai-based automotive company officially launched its new South American route late last week, which should significantly add to its delivery capacity in the region.

The company's first internal shipping route to the west coast of South America is set to significantly increase its delivery capacity. The company's first maiden voyage departed China on Friday last week carrying more than 3,000 vehicles. The ship carrying the different models of the company's MG and Maxus brands is set to arrive in South America within 30 to 35 days.

Apart from carrying its own vehicles, SAIC's transport ships are reportedly also going to be carrying products from other manufacturers. This is the company's latest move to accelerate the expansion of other Chinese automakers into overseas markets.

SAIC currently has two other international shipping routes in active operation. The first route ships vehicles to Southeast Asian counties, while the second one delivers vehicles directly to Mexico. Additionally, the company currently has several whole-vehicle manufacturing facilities in countries such as Africa, New Zealand, Europe, South America, and the Middle East.

SAIC has had a lot of success with its MG and Maxus branded vehicles in South America. Last year, the company sold more than 15,000 vehicles in Chile and Peru. This was a year-on-year increase of 101 percent for the company. That trend is likely to continue in the next years, given how popular the company's vehicles have become in the South American markets.

The company's Maxus G10 luxury MPV was recently ranked as the fourth best multi-purpose vehicle in Chile. Meanwhile, its MG-branded vehicles are becoming the fastest-growing passenger vehicle type in the region.

According to SAIC Motor, they had sold more than 277,000 vehicles overseas in 2018. This was a 62.5 percent year-on-year increase. The figure officially makes the company China's biggest whole-vehicle exporter for three consecutive years in a row.

SAIC Motor currently exports cars into the United States, albeit through its joint venture company with General Motors called SAIC General Motors Corporation Limited. One of its more popular models through the joint venture is GM's Envision sports utility vehicle (SUV), which GM exports by the boatload into the United States.

GM has continually been trying to ask the US government to exempt it from the increased tariff rates reasoning that it was impractical for it to build the popular model in the United States. However, the US government denied GM's request in a letter of denial sent out earlier this month.

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