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How to create a new growth pole for Shandong's export volume —A true story about the rising auto cluster worth hundreds of billions in Yantai

2018-09-11 20:23

As automobiles are the “machines that have changed the world”, the automobile industry is a key factor in driving the rapid growth of China’s national economy. From the first vehicle with the brand of Sail, which filled a gap in the automobile industry in Shandong Province, to the new era of exporting the local researched and developed vehicles made in Yantai Economic & Technological Development Area, and to the mass production of more than 4.86 millions complete vehicles by which two vehicles can be assembled every minute, SAM Dongyue Base, as a leader of the automobile industry in Shandong, not only drives the blooming of the automobile industry in the province and surrounding cities, but also makes an immeasurable contribution to the upgrading of Shandong from a great economic province to a powerhouse. What is even more significant is that the rolling development of the “100-billion-yuan” automobile industry cluster in Dongyue Base has injected a strong momentum for the quality-based economic and social development of Yantai City and Yantai Economic & Technological Development Area.

In a way that seeds take years to grow into towering trees with deep roots and thick leaves, SAIC-GM Dongyue Base, from starting from scratch 15 years ago to striving for excellence, has engaged in the progress, as it has always done, of the automobile industry in Yantai City and of Yantai Economic & Technological Development Area. “He is strong who has strong will” is the slogan of SAIC-GM Buick Envision SUVs. There is no more proper description to summarize the development history of SAIC-GM Dongyue Base over the past 15 years.

Forging Ahead for a 100-Billion-Yuan Vehicle Cluster

Two complete vehicle plants, one assembly plant, two major brands, six series and 31 types of vehicles, two series of engines, five series of gearboxes, 4.86 million complete vehicles, 13.85 million powertrains, a total output value of 490.7 billion yuan, a total paid taxes of 37.6 billion yuan, a leader of 99 first-tier suppliers who set up factories in Shandong (72 in Yantai), an automobile and parts industry cluster of 100 billion yuan…

This is a string of footprints left by SAIC-GM Dongyue Base in its 15 years of outstanding development.

Back in 2003, SAIC jointed hands with General Motors and SAIC-GM to restructure the former Yantai Bodywork Co., Ltd. and Shandong Daewoo Automotive Engine Co., Ltd., through which the SGM-Dongyue Motors Co., Ltd. and SGM-Dongyue Automotive Powertrain Co., Ltd. were born at the right moment. This attempt, in one fell swoop, activated the huge enterprise assets of Shandong Yantai’s complete vehicle and engine projects which had been in obscurity for several years, filling the gap in the vehicle industry in Yantai City and even in Shandong Province.

As the first SAIC-GM production base outside Shanghai, Dongyue Base gives full play to SAIC-GM’s first-rate management system, manufacturing system and quality system, creating an amazing “Dongyue Speed”. Since it went into operation, Dongyue Base has carried out a battery of projects, such as the Dongyue Automobile 60JPH Capacity Expansion Project, the G F6 Gearbox Project, the Complete Vehicle North Plant Project, and the Phase II Engine Project, and initiated the CVT Gearbox Project in May 2016. Releasing 1-2 new products annually, Dongyue Base has rapidly expanded its product line from the previous Buick Sail vehicle and single camshaft engines to about 10 types of vehicles, including Chevrolet Sail, Epica, AVEO, LOVA, AVEO, Sail 3, TRAX, Buick Excelle, Encore, and Envision, as well as four series of engines and gearboxes. In addition to the 10 times surge in vehicle output from 38,000 in 2003 to 420,000 in 2017, the powertrain production from 2005 to 2017 has also shot up by nearly eight times from 130,000 units to 1.14 million units. As of 2017, SAIC-GM Dongyue Base enjoyed a total investment topping over 35 billion yuan, featuring a South Plant and North Plant for complete vehicles production, an Assembly Plant, and advanced manufacturing technique for complete vehicles and powertrain assembly. With an accumulated output of 4.86 million complete vehicles and 13.85 million engines and gearboxes, it harvested an output value of 490.7 billion yuan.

Going global enables one to embrace the world. Following SAIC-GM’s global strategy, Dongyue Base exported Chevrolet Sail vehicles to Chile in August 2006, once again filling the gap in vehicle export in Shandong Province. Since then, Chevrolet LOVA, Sail S2, S3 and Buick Envision vehicles, L4 engines and S6 gearboxes have successively marched toward the global market. Dongyue products so far have been exported to nearly 20 countries and regions on five continents with a total of 370,000 vehicles and 310,000 powertrains, making it a major growth pole for export in Yantai City and Shandong Province.

Over the past 15 years, a 100-billion-yuan automobile & parts industry cluster has risen rapidly in Yantai, on the coast of the Yellow Sea. SAIC-GM Dongyue Base has been highly recognized by all walks of life for industry driving, employment creating, tax paying and public benefiting. It has been granted such honorary titles as “Top 100 Enterprises in Shandong Province”, “Top 50 Manufacturing Enterprises in Shandong Province”, “Key & Star Enterprise in Yantai City”, the “No. 1 National Taxpayer in Yantai City”, and the “Special Award to Outstanding Enterprise on Shouldering Social Responsibilities in Yantai Economic & Technological Development Area”.

Quality Orientation and Excellent Manufacturing Produce Outstanding Business

Among today’s mainstream vehicle brands in the international market, SAIC-GM is synonymous with “excellent quality”. Its medium-sized Buick Envision SUV continues to maintain its place as the top seller in China and gradually reaches out to the international markets with bulk export, such as to the developed countries in North America where it once won first place in SUV crash safety evaluation. The Chevrolet Sail vehicle, a long-standing market player, has continued to expand exports since setting the export record in Shandong in 2006. Beyond that, the new generation of 1.3T Ecotec dual-injection turbocharged engines, which are fitted in such new Buick SUVs as GL6 and Yuelang, are a powerful endorsement for SAIC-M’s “Drive to Green” strategy. All of them are representatives of the outstanding quality created by SAIC-GM Dongyue Base.

Dongyue Base deepens comprehensively the first-class manufacturing system and quality system of SAIC-GM, values deeply the quality culture of SAIC-GM, with all staff members pursuing best quality at every minute and in every process. For every product, whether a vehicle or a part, SAIC-GM Dongyue Base exerts super-strict quality control to ensure its quality.

Advanced technologies and techniques ensure manufacturing excellence. In addition to using advanced and first-class vehicle technologies and techniques in the industry, such as high speed automatic punch, laser soldering, water base painting process, robotic automatic assembly and intelligent vehicle detector, SAIC-GM Dongyue Base also adopts leading powertrain technologies, including flexible machining process, intelligent oil mist collector, and environmental engine cooling to deliver high-quality products and wonderful customer experience.

Having pursued excellent quality for many years, SAIC-GM Dongyue Base has made fruitful achievements. In 2013, the South Plant became the first of its kind receiving BIQ L4 certification, the highest rating of GM global manufacturing quality. With continuous improvement in manufacturing quality, the South Plant, the North Plant and the Assembly Plant all passed the BIQ L4 certification in 2016, being hailed as the “Most Valuable Plants” by GM Asia Pacific; in 2017, SAIC-GM Dongyue Base was presented with many national awards, including the “First Prize of Trustworthy Group for Quality” and the “First Prize of National Excellent Quality Control Groups of China Machinery Industry”.

Innovation Makes Sustainable Development Possible in the Future

What is the fundamental driving force for a company's development? The 20-year development of SAIC-GM and the 15-year growth of SAIC-GM Dongyue Base have confirmed the fact that “innovation” is the basic driver for the sustainable development of enterprises.

Being the important manufacturing base of SAIC-GM, SAIC-GM Dongyue Base introduces the world's most advanced technologies & techniques, such as high speed automatic punch, body-in-white laser welding, water soluble paint coating, robotic automatic assembly, cold and flexible processing for engines, and gearbox oil mist intelligent gathering. It also carries out research in cutting-edge technologies, including 3D printing in smart manufacturing, intelligent vehicle WiFi detector, automatic logistics sorting and intelligent energy management. SAIC-GM Dongyue Base builds its prime Green and Smart Manufacturing System featuring “Lean, Agile, and Flexible”. It has successively invested 200 million yuan to improve the water-based paint in the South Plant and around 100 yuan million to build the VOC waste gas treatment, which has reduced over 90% on the emission of organic exhaust gases. In 2017, SAIC-GM Dongyue Base implemented 19 key innovation projects and 84,625 rationalization proposals, with a total saving of 25.49 million yuan.

Talents play a dominant role in innovation and serve as the strategic resource for sustainable development of enterprises. SAIC-GM Dongyue Base persists in constructing five talent teams and cultivating a large pool of innovative talents adapting to the development of the automobile industry in the new era. Besides, it boasts 11 national patented innovative results, and many award-wining employees in provincial and above level competitions. As of 2017, SAIC-GM Dongyue Base has recruited nearly 7,000 employees, increasing from over 2,000 in 2003, with over 800 skilled experts from about 200. It is the cultivation of high quality innovative talents that endlessly supplies internal impetus for the future development of the company.

The 15 years’ hardship enhances the strong development potential of SAIC-GM Dongyue Base. Facing the future opportunities and challenges in the automotive industry, SAIC-GM Dongyue Base will, by leveraging on SAIC GM’s forward-looking development plans, complete structure systems, strong technical reserves and rich marketing experience, build on the first-class manufacturing base, talent base and innovation base of SAIC GM, in a bid to drive the transformation and upgrading of the automotive industry in Yantai Economic & Technological Development Area, and contribute more in high-quality vehicle manufacturing.




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