Biz / Auto

SAIC Motors starts first self-operated shipping route from Ningde to Mexico

Huang Yixuan
Taking advantage of China's Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese auto manufacturer SAIC Motors has begun its first self-operated shipping route, exporting 1,000 cars to Mexico.
Huang Yixuan

Provided by SAIC Motors. Shot by Huang Yixuan. Edited by Huang Yixuan. Subtitles by Huang Yixuan.

SAIC Motor kicked off its maiden voyage on Thursday with a new self-operated sea route connecting Ningde City in Fujian Province with Mexico.

Anji Phoenix, a ro-ro ship of SAIC with the largest capacity, set sail from the Ningde Port, shipping the first batch of 1,000 Morris Garages models (including 800 MG 5 vehicles and 200 MG HS cars) produced at SAIC's Ningde base. The final destination will be the Port of Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico.

The Shanghai-based auto giant's establishment of this new cargo shipping route is an active move to grab opportunities from the Belt and Road Initiative, and expand its overseas business. With it, the carmaker is able to transport vehicles, which roll off the production line of its Ningde base, directly to Mexico.

In comparison, the vehicles produced in Ningde used to first be transported to the Lianyungang Port in Jiangsu Province before being delivered overseas.

The total voyage is expected to cover 7,500 nautical miles and take 23 days. Sailing directly from the Ningde Port saves transportation cost and time (about 3-5 days), said Wang Zemin, general manager of SAIC Anji Logistics.

The port will witness the departure of one ship from Ningde to either Mexico or Europe every month this year, which will result in the dispatch of over 10,000 exported vehicles to overseas markets in 2023.

From January to February this year, SAIC's overseas sales exceeded 160,000 units, up 31.9 percent year on year – continuing its strong upward momentum.

Since SAIC's entry two years ago, Mexico – located in the natural extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – has become a major overseas market for the MG brand. Last year, the annual sales of MG models in Mexico exceeded 48,000 vehicles, surging 201 percent from a year earlier and rapidly climbing to the 7th position in the local passenger car market ranking.

To meet the rapidly growing demand of Mexican consumers, the first batch of 1,000 new MG cars from the Ningde base was sent to Mexico.

According to Zhao Aimin, vice president of SAIC Motor International Co, the Ningde plant is recognized as a benchmark smart factory in China and a key base of SAIC for new energy and export. More than 500,000 new-energy and intelligent vehicles have rolled off the production line so far.

With the official opening of the Ningde-Mexico sea route, SAIC's Ningde base has become the first domestic complete-vehicle production base to integrate various logistics modes such as warehousing, road transportation, railroad transportation and ocean transportation, with the export business entering the fast lane of development.

The MG brand launched its "global strategy" as early as 2007 when officially entering the market of Chile in South America. It hit a major milestone by achieving global sales of 300,000 vehicles in 2019, becoming China's top single-brand auto seller in overseas markets for the first time, and then successfully maintained the top position as the overseas sales champion for four consecutive years.

Last year, it achieved annual global sales exceeding 660,000 vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 26 percent, ranking among the top 10 brands in nearly 20 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Thailand and Chile.

The brand's global annual sales target for 2023 was set at 800,000 vehicles, and its sales goal for 2024, the 100th anniversary of the birth of the MG brand, is to reach a new milestone of one million vehicles.

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