About this series
Building Asia is a collection of business stories on CNA that examines the financial forces driving Asia’s position as an economic powerhouse.
Great Wall Motor – Driving towards ASEAN expansion is the 24th episode in the Building Asia with UOB series and was first aired on 28 February 2022. It looks at how UOB supported Great Wall Motor’s ASEAN expansion with our extensive regional connectivity and “one bank” approach in delivering unsurpassed standards in service, speed and agility.
Elliot Zhang (President of ASEAN and Thailand, Great Wall Motor):
Great Wall Motor is a manufacturer for SUVs and pickup trucks. Our vehicles range from fuel to smart to new energy and our business covers R&D, manufacturing and sales.
For six consecutive years, GWM's annual global sales have exceeded one million, with business in 60 countries such as Europe, the Middle East and South America.
Since 2013, ASEAN has been part of our global expansion plans. Its connectivity offers many benefits to GWM.
We needed the support of a local partner and we are thankful to have found UOB.
Adeline Zheng (Managing Director and Head of Wholesale Banking, UOB China):
UOB started a banking relationship with GWM China back in 2018.
Leveraging on the syndication-loan opportunity with GWM ’s auto finance company, we set up regular and close dialogue with GWM at a group level.
When GWM acquired General Motor Group‘s manufacturing plant in Asia, UOB China and UOB Thailand worked together to provide GWM Thailand with greater access to funding.
For a new company entering a new market, securing funding from local banks is never easy.
UOB Thailand was one of the first banks to reach out to us and what stood out was that they were responsive and meticulous.
The timely financial support helped pave the way for us in securing local funding and we are thankful for that.
UOB China and UOB Thailand worked together seamlessly to help GWM bridge language and cultural barriers, providing advisory services and solutions tailored to their needs.
Such solutions included access to funding as well as a Corporate Guarantee from its parent company in China to support the initial stage of production and branding in Thailand.
We saw first-hand in Thailand the ease and efficiency with which UOB supported us.
For example, they went out of their way to expedite the approval process, even bringing documents right to our doorstep in the midst of a raging pandemic in order to support our business development.
In comparison, it took us four to five years in another market to have a breakthrough in terms of securing credit from a local bank.
GWM has plans to expand into other ASEAN markets and India.
We see ourselves as a key Sustainable Financing Partner and we stand ready to connect them as one bank to opportunities in ASEAN and beyond.
With our high-tech production plant in Rayong, ASEAN will be our base from which we expand further into other parts of the world.
UOB’s footprint and connectivity in ASEAN will no doubt give us the support and expertise we need to continue expanding our business in the region.