SAIC Maxus: Pioneering the C2B Model in China's Auto Industry in the Digital Era

Yue Fang, Wenyin Qian

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


This case covers a common issue concerning traditional manufacturers in the digital era. As we know, Chinese manufacturers mainly focus on products and make profits by ramping up capacity and expanding dealer channels. As the Chinese economy shifts to a lower gear, this type of business model leads to overproduction and market saturation while also failing to meet consumer demand for more personalized products. In the digital era, therefore, traditional manufacturers need to change their business model to transform their business structure. While such a goal may be clear, how to reach it is a different matter. Founded in 2011, SAIC Maxus, a Chinese auto manufacturer, began exploring the C2B (Customer to Business) model in 2016, shifting from a product-centric approach to a user-centric one and from standardized mass production to personalization and smart customization. To this end, it had to adopt a new business model and digitize the entire manufacturing process and supply chain. With no precedent in the market to fall back on, how did SAIC Maxus figure out the C2B model from scratch? How did its C2B model help digitize the traditional value chain of the auto industry? What challenges would the C2B model face in the next step? What lessons does SAIC Maxus' exploration of the C2B model hold for other traditional manufacturing companies?"
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2021

Case number


Case normative number


Case type

Field Case

Update date



For more details, please visit

Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • C2B
  • C2M
  • Motor industry
  • automobile manufacturing
  • digitalization
  • transformation
  • industrial internet
  • C2B(Consumer to Business)

Case studies discipline

  • Strategy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Operations & Management Science

Case studies industry

  • Manufacturing
  • Retail Trade
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services


Dive into the research topics of 'SAIC Maxus: Pioneering the C2B Model in China's Auto Industry in the Digital Era'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this