Geely Automobile, one of the top Chinese homegrown automakers, is seeking to steer its focus to flexible marketing channel development and "soft power" improvement after two years' high-speed market expansion. At this year's dealers meeting, Geely took the priorities of marketing channel establishment to develop regional markets and improve management quality, said the company.
It has been proven that neither too fast market expansion nor low price competition is a good way to win more market share for the homemade brand. That the joint-venture brands occupy the regional markets is another pressure for the company. Therefore, it has no alternative but to change the structure of its marketing channel.
Attempt to build "small sales network"
It was emphasized at the 2011 Geely Dealer Meeting that the dealers should transform their price-oriented business concept to a consumer-oriented one.
Liu Jinliang, Geely's vice president and head of sales and marketing, said that the company will stick to the move this year by assisting dealers in setting up business concept that the consumers should be well served. It was the first step of enlarging the marketing channels, according to Liu.
Yang Xueliang, the Public Relations Director of Geely Automobile, said that the priorities of enlarging marketing channels were to develop regional markets and improve the management quality of the dealers. Geely will provide their dealers sales skills training, components and parts supply, local brand construction, and financial loan guarantee, according to Yang.
Yang also said that Geely will give substantial support to the dealers, including information feedback competence of the distribution outlets, service staff training, and vehicle maintenance convenience.
"The competence of manufacturers is more or less the same in respect of the hardware input to the marketing channels, but there is huge room for improvement for Geely compared with joint ventures in terms of after-sale services. Geely should move from the present upper middle reach to where the joint ventures stand," added Yang.
As to the marketing channel, the dealers are encouraged to flexibly develop more regional markets, according to Yang. He suggested that the dealers should cooperate with local shopping malls or host a motor show, or even dispatch people in charge in villages to sell cars instead of limiting their marketing means.
Geely has not set up enough sales networks in each city. There is only one for each of Geely's three brands in most cities. Therefore, the automaker will also consider establishing its second sales networks and increase its outlets.