I am going to be starting a new series, interviewing CEO’s, celebrities, and other interesting personalities, asking them to share their stories and advice to our readers.
It was an honor to have the opportunity to interview Mr. Yu Jun, the president of GAC MOTOR, a company that is not very well known in the US, but is one of the fasting growing car companies in China.
Yitzi: Thank you so much for speaking with me, Mr. Jun. What is your background in the automotive industry.
MR. YU JUN: I have more than 30 years of experience in the auto industry, including many years as the sales manager for Guangzhou Automobile Group, Guangzhou Peugeot, as well as vice president of Guangzhou Honda. In 2016, I joined GAC MOTOR, one of the fastest growing Chinese car companies, as its president,
Yitzi: You must have a deep insider’s perspective on the car industry. What can you tell us about the latest trends in the automotive industry?
MR. YU JUN: I am fairly confident that “ New Energy Vehicles” are the wave of the future. GAC MOTOR would like to capitalize on this by launching at least 7 New Energy Vehicles(NEV) over the next five years. They will all be variations of these 3 models: A Hybrid vehicle, an extended range electric vehicle and all-electric vehicle.
GAC MOTOR hopes to create a complete new energy vehicle industry chain by building a world class NEV Research and Development team, R&D facilities and R&D system.
We have set our sights high, and we are planning on creating flagship products, with hopes of becoming leaders in the industry.
Yitzi: Which automotive company do you most admire and aspire to be like one day?
MR. YU JUN: I admire both Toyota and Honda. Both are know for their good quality and reliability.
I would like to see GAC MOTOR model ourselves after them, as well as remain at the forefront of the green auto industry.
Yitzi: As of now, you are an upstart underdog facing powerful competition. You are the “David” to the Toyota and VW “Goliath”. How do you plan to defeat them?
MR. YU JUN: Tesla has distinguished itself by combining sustainable car technology with sleek and sophisticated design. We strive to excel in this as well.
Yitzi: You chose, Wuzhen, a “water town” that some have compared to Venice, Italy as the place to launch your new SUV models. What made you choose that city?
MR. YU JUN: We chose Wuzhen to be the place to begin a new definition of SUVs for young consumers. Wuzhen is known as a hotbed for high tech and innovation, with a lot of young, forward thinking people. It has a rich history, famous for hosting the World Internet Conference. We hope that these young consumers will be the perfect fit for some of our new models.
Yitzi: Recently the New York Times hailed the G7 as “A New Generation Blockbuster SUV”. J.D.Power ranked GAC MOTOR higher than all other Chinese car brands in 2017. That’s pretty Impressive! What do you think specifically lead to the success of this vehicle?
MR. YU JUN: We feel that this success can be attributed to some of the features of the G7. It has four core advantages: strong stability, it is very spacious and comfortable, it has a smart entertainment system, and robust power control.
It is also designed well, with the edgy design elements of GACs SUVs giving it a young, sporty vibe.
It has a spacious interior with seating for five, concealed storage space, and a panoramic sunroof.
It has very modern features like a ten inch central touch screen, multi function leather seats, wireless charging, keyless entry system, and the newly developed, “in joy” smart HMI system.
Yitzi: In the next few years, you plan to release many more new models of SUVs, sedans, MPVs and electric vehicles. This seems extremely ambitious. How do you plan to achieve this goal?
MR. YU JUN: GAC MOTOR is very ambitious, and we are entering a new phase of fast development, with plans to release 20 - 30 new car models in the next 5 years. We are working on name recognition and brand value, and hope one day to be well known and loved by consumers everywhere.
Chinese automakers are now on the move to the global market as well. GAC MOTOR is speeding fast to enter the U.S. market in 2019 to compete with local brands.
Yitzi: Thank you, Mr. Jun. I didn’t fully appreciate that Chinese manufacturers were so actively involved with sustainability and the environment. I look forward to seeing your cars on the roads of America one day soon! I will keep an eye out for the release of new models here.