– Auto sunroofs came into being together with automobiles and they even became the mark of luxury automobiles and luxury configuration once. Nowadays, the auto sunroof is no longer the patent of luxury automobiles, while many economy automobiles are also equipped with auto sunroofs.

In 2010, the sales volume of automobiles in China was 18.06 million, increasing by over 30% YOY. It has been a development trend of China’s automobile industry to install sunroofs. China’s auto sunroof market is also developing rapidly with the rapid increase in output and sales volume of automobiles in China. In 2010, the scale of China’s auto sunroof market exceeded 3 million sets. The major shares of China’s auto sunroof market have always been occupied by such foreign-owned auto sunroof giants as Webasto, coco, Brown, etc. As the world’s largest auto sunroof manufacturer with over 100 years of history, Webasto is always engaged in providing high-quality auto sunroof products for automobile manufacturers and automobile users in the world. In 2009, in order to meet the demand of China’s automobile market developing at top speed, Webasto expanded the auto sunroof production bases in Changchun and Shanghai, introduced the world’s leading production lines of fully-automatic panoramic auto sunroof and at the same time equipped multiple world’s leading assembly lines of the automatic auto sunroofs. As the new factories in both places were officially put into use, the annual production capacity of Webasto will reach 2 million sets in China.

The supporting customers of Webasto in China include Beijing Benz, BMW, Shanghai GM, FAW-Volkswagen, Chang’an Ford, Shanghai Volkswagen, Wuhan Shenlong and other famous automobile joint ventures. Webasto also provides auto sunroof supporting services for Saic Motor, FAW Car, Great Wall Automobile, Chery Automobile and many other manufacturers of China’s independent brands, and leads China’s auto sunroof market with the market share of over 50%.

Foreign-owned auto sunroof products are prohibitively expensive for many domestic complete vehicle manufacturers in China. Currently, increasingly more domestic enterprises in China begin to enter the auto sunroof industry, such as Taizhou Yifa, Zhejiang Shenghuabo, Taizhou Yuejin, etc. However, due to the difficulties of technology, capital, etc., these enterprises have neither formed certain scale nor provided supporting experience for well-known complete vehicle manufacturers. The auto sunroofs produced by China’s domestic enterprises have single varieties, weak compatibility and quality and unguaranteed after-sales services, which is an important reason for their difficulty to develop rapidly. The prices of auto sunroofs produced by foreign-owned enterprises are generally above CNY 5,000, while those produced by China’s domestic enterprises will enjoy over CNY 1,000 of gross profits even if they are priced at CNY 2,000. It is predictable that increasingly more enterprises will launch into R&D and manufacture of auto sunroofs. Without doubt, they must enter the OEM market with high gross profits and free themselves of the mistakes of only supporting the remodeling market and the aftermarket; otherwise they will be eliminated gradually.

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Based on the database, Interviews and research methods from China Research and Intelligence, CRI analyzes the development and opportunities in this industry clearly. Contacts: Eileen Gu China Research and Intelligence Email: TEL: 86-21-6852-1029 86-21-5842-6733

On this edition of Marketing Briefs, we place our focus upon Market Research precepts. How is it possible to effectively understand your target marketing (audience) if you choose not to conduct essential market research practices? Small and large organizations alike should develop a strategic marketing research analysis plan.

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