“We are truly honored to continue GAC Motor’s journey as their new partner in the Philippines,” said Astara Philippines managing director Rauol Picello.
“With Astara’s global strength and track record in car distribution and mobility services, we are confident that we can take GAC Motor to greater heights as we have done in Latin America,” he added.
Meanwhile, GAC Motor general manager Zeng Hebin said the tie-up would help the carmaker take advantage of the growing popularity of Chinese brands in the Philippines, which he said has reached more than 10,000 annual sales.
“It is believed that with the full cooperation of GAC and Astara, GAC Motor's market share in the Philippines will increase rapidly, becoming the travel choice of more and more Filipino consumers and bringing the high-quality and high-tech driving experience to more Filipino families,” he said.
Chinese automotive wave
GAC Motor started operating in the Philippines under Legado Motors Inc. with former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson as its chairman and president.
Although the latter will remain GAC dealers, Astara will take over all distributorship duties from Legado.
Then-President Rodrigo Duterte attended the brand’s launch in Pasig City on November 2018.
“The Philippine automotive market is among the fastest growing in Southeast Asia,” Duterte said in a speech.
“Its annual growth rate of 22 percent in the last five years makes it a conducive place for trade and business,” the former president added. “Indeed, recent studies estimate that the local motor vehicle demand could reach 1 million units in 2028.”
The company has seven dealerships nationwide and faces stiff competition from bigger Chinese brands like Geely and MG.
GAC Motor Philippines currently offers six models: the GA4 compact sedan, the GS3 subcompact crossover, the GS4 compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV), the GS8 midsize SUV, the GN6 multi-purpose vehicle, and the GN8 van.
A race-prepped works GA4 recently made headlines for winning the Bonifacio Cup 8-Hour Endurance Challenge of the 2022 Petron Makabayan Cup Endurance Race Challenge Series on Nov. 27, 2022.
Do you think GAC Motor’s new partner can help reverse its fortunes?
An award-winning multimedia journalist, editor, and host for online and TV who has written in-depth stories on road safety and the Philippine elections. Outside of the media, VJ is an accomplished motorsports champion, English teacher, and dancer.