Buffett’s Endorsement Of Trands, Suitmaker For China’s Government Elite, Gives Small Clothing Brand International Notoriety
Warren Buffett's endorsement of Chinese high-end menswear designer Trands sent its stocks soaring
Warren Buffett’s interest in China as an investment destination is well known, and his words of praise for (or investments in) the occasional Chinese company seems to have the effect of boosting that company’s visibility abroad virtually overnight. H is company’s $230 million investment in Chinese electric and hybrid automaker BYD has elevated what was only a few years ago a fledgling battery maker into a brand which is set to enter the US market as early as next year. So for little-known (even in China) Chinese menswear designer Trands, Buffett’s endorsement of his newest Chinese-brand-of-the-moment is definitely exciting news — especially because their stocks have risen 70% since the release of a video in which Buffett extols the brand’s qualities. As the Wall Street Journal writes today,
Move over Brioni, the truly rich and powerful are wearing Trands.
The obscure menswear label is produced by Dayang Group, a clothing company founded by Li Guilian, 63 years old, a diminutive farmer-turned-fashion mogul, in northeast China.
Ms. Li’s company got a major boost after Mr. Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., recently appeared in a Dayang promotional video, posted on the company’s Web site. He heaped praise on Ms. Li, her company, and the nine Trands suits he proudly owns. Shares of Dayang’s Shanghai-listed subsidiary, Dalian Dayang Trands Co., have soared by more than 70% since the video was posted on Sept. 10.
Posted in Business, China, Fashion, Luxury
Tagged brioni, buffett, BYD, China, chinese, Fashion, geely, Investment, Luxury, trands, trend, warren buffett
Recent Interest By Chinese Automakers In Established Brands Like Volvo, Saab Show Their Global Ambitions; But Will Western Consumers Choose To “Drive Chinese”?
Can BYD crack the American luxury car market? Only time will tell.
With well-known auto brands like Sweden’s Volvo and Saab up for sale, Chinese brands Geely, Beijing Automotive and FAW — relative unknowns in the global car market — have been in the news as possible suitors. It is no secret that Chinese automakers have their sights set on the export market, and want to see their vehicles gain popularity on lucrative markets like North America. Here, though, is the largest opportunity as well as the most significant challenge faced by Chinese car brands, a bit of a catch-22: while China is the world’s largest auto market — owing, naturally, to its vast population — Chinese car companies need to develop their luxury fleets and export more in order to turn a substantial profit, but for higher-priced vehicles, Chinese consumers virtually always choose foreign-made automobiles, and Chinese brands are almost completely unknown by luxury car buyers abroad.
At the same time, Chinese carmakers must come up against biases about the perceived quality of their products — fostered, perhaps in a large proportion, by the fact that Chinese brands have absolutely no brand equity abroad, since:
1.) most of these companies are only a few years old, and
2.) reports about Chinese-made vehicles tend to be on the sensationalist side and focus on a quality gap or on perceived “counterfeiting” of car models. While many of the problems faced by Chinese carmakers abroad boil down to sloppy or simply “bad” PR, it is, in some ways, understandable that non-Chinese car buyers know little about Chinese car companies — because many Chinese car buyers don’t know much about them either. Quite simply, they need to work harder to differentiate themselves, pin down strong brand messaging, and really push hard to ensure they conform to all safety and emissions standards — or exceed them.
Posted in Automobile, Business, China, Investment, Luxury
Tagged america, auto, automotive, Beijing auto, beijing automotive, BYD, China, FAW, geely, honda, hyundai, japan, kia, korea, Luxury, luxury car, north america, saab, toyota, US, USA, volvo, warren buffett
Chongqing-Based Automaker, Building On Additional Visibility Gained During Olympics, Eyes Luxury Segment
Chang'an's luxury concepts build on the CD101 platform unveiled earlier this year at the Shanghai Auto Show
Over the last year, Chinese automakers have made a big push to gain domestic popularity and international pathways for future growth, with high-visibility announcements like Sichuan Tengzhong’s acquisition of Hummer and BYD’s plans to enter the American market as soon as 2010. These Chinese automakers have done a pretty good job of selling their lower-priced models to first-time car buyers throughout the mainland — mainly 20-something middle class workers in urban centers — but what about high end models?
While several Chinese car companies have tried to appeal to this segment in the past — with Red Flag (Hongqi) immediately springing to mind, along with the newly-unveiled Geely GE — their success can be described as mixed, at best. While Red Flag remains the car of choice for China’s government elite, among high-powered businesspeople or the otherwise well-off, the luxury car market in China remains dominated by foreign brands. Even at the highest level, Red Flag doesn’t even make the list, with the Rolls-Royce Phantom, Bentley Arnage, and Maybach making up the top three favored models in China.
According to a new article in China Car Times, however, it looks like Sichuan-based Chang’an is looking to target the domestic luxury car buyer as soon as next year. Will Chang’an have better luck reaching a wider luxury audience? From the looks of the new concept photos on CCT, it looks like they are closer than ever to becoming a true rival to Audi, BMW and Mercedes in the mainland market, at least aesthetically. Now the question, as always, remains, can Chinese carmakers once and for all rid domestic consumers of the notion that foreign car brands are superior?
Posted in Automobile, Business, China, Luxury
Tagged Audi, audo, auto, automotive, bmw, BYD, car, chang'an, China, chinese, concept, luxury car, mercedes
The American Automaker Is Enjoying Record Gains In China’s Rapidly-Growing Automotive Market, Despite Difficulties At Home
GM has enjoyed record success in China over the past four years. But will domestic upstarts like BYD woo Chinese car buyers away? Photo © BusinessWeek
With GM’s impending bankruptcy and restructuring in the news over the last week, it is easy to lose sight of the company’s global reach and mixed revenues. Although the company has had unprecedented difficulties in the North American market, brought on by the global economic downturn, in China — where the company has operated (with a roughly 30-year interruption) for decades — GM has been the leading foreign carmaker for the last four years.
Although China’s domestic car makers — spurred by huge foreign and government investment over the past few years — are making great strides, since the formation of the Shanghai GM joint venture in 1997, the company has worked hard to rebrand itself for the China market. All of this work has paid off in China, since as of last year, GM built an estimated market share of 12.1% on sales of nearly to 1.1 million units.
Posted in Automobile, Business, China, Culture, Investment, Luxury
Tagged Automobile, automotive, buick, BYD, cadillac, car, China, chinese, general motors, GM, GM Shanghai, Luxury, PATAC, porsche, shanghai, shanghai auto show
Formerly Budget-Focused Brands Like Geely Shifting To Lucrative High-End Consumer Segment
The Chinese middle class is an important and growing consumer segment, and Chinese domestic brands are increasingly relying on this group's future purchasing power to drive global growth
The Wall Street Journal has a great profile today about Chinese auto brands that have shifted 180 degrees in the last few years, changing their target market from the younger, budget-conscious first-time car buyer to wealthier buyers who may already own one or more vehicles. This represents a very significant change in tactic on the part of Chinese automakers, who until recently had all but given up on this consumer bracket, apparently convinced that it would be impossible to compete with foreign luxury carmakers like Mercedes and BMW, two brands that have made commanding inroads in the China market.
Posted in Automobile, Business, China, Economy, Luxury
Tagged Automobile, benz, bmw, BYD, chery, China, ford, geely, Luxury, mercedes, porsche, saab, vehicle, wealth
Rising Trade And Cultural Exchanges Between Two Countries Leading China-West Partnerships
Ambassador Raby has been a contemporary Chinese art buff since the 1980s. Could Raby and Rudd lead the way to better Sino-Australian ties?
There have been several stories in the last few days about the relationship between Australia and China, two countries which have economically benefitted in alternating cycles through increased trade and commerce over the last 20 or so years. While Australia has a Mandarin-speaking PM who has shown a muted interest in deepening Sino-Australian ties, recent articles have indicated that the China stigma continues to play a role in business deals and politics.
Posted in Business, China, Chinese Art, Culture, Economics, Economy, Investment, Museums
Tagged Art, australia, Business, BYD, China, chinalco, contemporary art, dealmaking, foreign investment, Investment, paul rudd, rio, SOEs, warren buffett