SHANGHAI, May 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Leading media agency Wavemaker has announced its partnership with Great Wall Motor (GWM), a leading automaker in China. The partnership aims to leverage Wavemaker’s expertise in media and marketing to help GWM to accelerate ORA and WEY brands’ entry into Germany and other European countries.
GWM serves as a model for Chinese automakers expanding into foreign markets
As China becomes the world’s largest auto producer and seller, it is becoming increasingly clear that Chinese auto brands must find a way to integrate into local overseas markets and seize the opportunities present there as part of their globalization strategy. Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that Chinese automakers exported 3.111 million units in 2022, up 54.4% year on year. Chinese vehicles now dominate the Middle East and Latin American auto markets in addition to holding a sizable portion of the European market. China is now one of the world’s top three exporters of passenger vehicles.
GWM, long a key player in China’s automotive sector, was, from the beginning, an eager "early adopter" when the opportunity to start exporting abroad made it first appearance. Following the first shipments of the Great Wall pickup in 1998, GWM established R&D centers in seven countries, with the largest operations in the US, Japan, Germany, and Canada. The carmaker has also built global processes and complete vehicle production facilities in Thailand and Brazil. GWM has shipped complete vehicles to more than 170 countries and regions worldwide. By 2022, overall overseas sales had already surpassed the one million unit milestone, the result of GWM’s search and success in establishing a development model that benefits both the local economy and its shareholders. Additionally, GWM has fully localized R&D, production, sales, and services as part of its shift in global business strategy from exporting automobiles to exporting ecosystems.
To this end, GWM unveiled its latest globalization brand strategy – ONE GWM – in December 2022. As part of the new plan, the automaker’s five brands – HAVAL, Great Wall, TANK, WEY, and ORA – will each adopt their own development path based on their unique characteristics, resulting in a differentiated product portfolio by taking into account and integrating into the production chain the industrial policies of each country and region in which it operates, building a localized ecosystem and accelerating the company’s transformation and globalization.
Wavemaker helps brands increase the global visibility of firms in search of a reliable growth strategy
GWM entered the European market first by establishing a footprint in France and Germany with its two brands ORA and WEY. European customers are well renowned for their high standards when it comes to both quality and safety. Successful access to the region suggests that the products have already received the go ahead and support from the relevant government authorities, but more aggressive outreach to consumers is needed to earn their buy-in. Europe is one of the most developed automotive markets in the world, with a strong automotive industry DNA and culture. Car owners throughout the continent adore and trust their local brands. How to establish a presence in consumers’ minds is one of the most important challenges that Chinese brands, such as GWM, face and must overcome when entering the market.
Wavemaker, a leading marketing firm that combines media communication, content marketing, and technical innovation, has from day one believed that there is always an appropriate way to grow at any given time. It is a monumental task to introduce a Chinese brand in the birthplace of the automobile, nevertheless, prospects look promising, according to Wavemaker. The marketing firm is in charge of ORA’s debut in Germany and the rest of Europe. Wavemaker has provided GWM with a detailed launch strategy for ORA in Germany that is at variance with conventional automotive branding strategies by tapping into its unique communication planning and digital prowess to turn challenges into opportunities. The marketing firm expects to assist GWM in progressively expanding its market reach while enhancing the global appeal of Chinese brands. Wavemaker sees the GWM experience as a model for inspiring more Chinese companies to expand abroad, despite the fact that overseas branding is a long-term and ongoing process.
Regina Preuss, Managing Partner of Wavemaker Germany, said, "Great Wall Motor is a super exciting company that stands for innovation and consistent customer focus with its ORA brand, making it a perfect fit for Wavemaker. The trust that Great Wall Motor and the ORA team place in us makes us very happy and once again confirms our comprehensive strategic expertise as well as our big data know-how, which we will use to sustainably establish the new automotive and lifestyle brand in Europe". Wavemaker will provide media services not only for ORA but also exclusively for the WEY brand in Germany and other European markets together with the partner agency ‘Best of Media’.
GWM is confident about the partnership. Yao Fei, Vice President of ORA Europe, said, "We are thrilled to have Wavemaker as a strong and powerful partner for our media activities in Germany and, by extension, Europe. As a relatively young brand, we have placed ourselves in the best possible position for a successful entry into the media market".
Milton Liao, Head of Wavemaker China for Overseas Business, noted that the major challenge that Chinese automakers must overcome when establishing a presence overseas is how to properly integrate local lifestyles into one’s entire production, sales and after-service cycle in order to reach the local market. Wavemaker will keep integrating international resources and customize local offerings to make GWM’s ONE GWM vision a reality.