Wuling Hongguang MINIEV: A New Breed of Chinese Automaker

Gao Wang, Qiong Zhu

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


Firms in mature industries often find themselves at a strategic crossroads, forced to choose between consolidating their position in existing market segments or breaking into new markets. At SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co., Ltd. (hereinafter "Wuling"), the scales tipped in favor of the latter option: the company challenged the status quo by developing the Hongguang MINIEV (hereinafter "MINIEV"), a model featuring a minimalist design and no redundant features. The company also encouraged customization to adapt to shifting user preferences, turning the MINIEV into a fashion statement. By doing so, Wuling could avoid fighting for existing market share and break into the mass market for customized cars. In April 2021, nine months after its launch, the MINIEV was China's best-selling electric vehicle (EV) for the eighth consecutive month. It also topped the global EV sales rankings in January and April 2021. Despite its success, the MINIEV did not bring a sense of safety for Wuling's general manager Shen Yang and deputy general manager Xue Haitao. Instead, the two worried about how long the sales momentum would last, what sort of product strategy Wuling should adopt in the future, and which path to take—specifically, to tap into the higher-end segment with upgraded products or to consolidate its position in the value-for-money segment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Case number


Case normative number


Case type

Field Case

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Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • trendy modified car
  • New Energy Car/ Vehicle
  • new energy vehicle
  • WuLing Hongguang MINIEV
  • R&D to remove unnecessary car configuration
  • fashionable social card
  • Electric Car/E-Vehicle
  • electric vehicle

Case studies discipline

  • Marketing
  • Strategy

Case studies industry

  • Manufacturing


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