Biz / Auto

Automaker announces 6% increase in sales

Hu Yumo
Dongfeng attributes performance to increasing sales of its light trucks and reveals plans for upgrading and the introduction of a new brand of new-energy vehicles.
Hu Yumo

Chinese automaker Dongfeng sold 96,239 vehicles in China in the first seven months of the year, an increase of 6 percent compared with the same period last year. 

In July, it sold 14,623 vehicles, 33 percent more than the same month last year.

The company attributed its performance to increased sales of light trucks and said it would be upgrading to produce lightweight, intelligent and connected vehicles in the future.

It is launching two new products in September, it said. One is the T17, a gasoline light truck, and the other EV18, a new-energy logistics vehicle.

Hubei-based Dongfeng, established in 1969, is one of China's biggest automobile groups and is aiming to establish a high-end, new-energy passenger vehicle brand to meet demand.

On July 27, Dongfeng Motor Group Co announced its intention to list on the ChiNext Board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and raise funds for the passenger vehicle project, new-generation vehicles and technological development projects, a digitalized platform and service build-up project as well as to replenish working capital.

On July 17, Dongfeng announced Voyah, a new premium new-energy vehicle brand. The automaker said it will apply new strategies and business models and operational team to the new brand. 

The aim is to develop electric vehicles with the advantages of both a mature traditional automaker and an electric car startup. It will apply innovative sales models and offer ecosystem services, it said.

From 2021, Voyah will release at least one new car model a year. Over the next three to five years, the new brand plans to cover various market segments such as sedans, sport-utility vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles, crossovers and high-performance vehicles.

According to data from China Passenger Car Association, Dongfeng's new-energy passenger car sales, including sales of its joint ventures, totaled 42,404 units in 2019. Among them were around 20,000 of its own-brand new-energy cars, mainly models sold to online car-hailing companies.

Zhang Xiaofeng, an independent market analyst, said setting up a new-energy vehicle brand is not easy. Dongfeng's new-energy vehicle brand required a particularly large amount of investment, and Zhang remained cautious about its long-term prospects. The new-energy vehicle market is crowded with startups, Zhang said.

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