Honda, Toyota JVs renamed to feature "GAIC" label.
November 24, 2008 - Last week at the Guangzhou auto show, Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAIC) revealed that its two subsidiaries "Guangzhou Toyota" and "Guangzhou Honda" will be renamed as "GAIC Toyota" and "GAIC Honda" (or "Guangzhou Auto Toyota" and "Guangzhou Auto Honda"?), and the two joint ventures with Japanese auto giants will be required to pay for using the Guangzhou Auto trademark, said the Beijing News today.
Zhang Fangyou, chairman of Guangzhou Auto Group, made this decision public at the auto event. A top executive of Guangzhou Toyota explained that there are three major factors behind the renaming of the two joint ventures: 1. Guangzhou is a very local name, not so suitable for JVsí globalization needs; 2. the sales network and corporate names should be unified; 3. the new names will feature the names and brands of each side of the ventures.
Zhang stressed that Guangzhou Auto is determined to boost its brand awareness in the auto market and the first step is to feature its brand name in the joint ventures. The focus of its future operation will shift from the individual vehicle product sales to the brand marketing, Zhang added.
Meanwhile, the sales channels and networks of the two joint ventures will carry Guangzhou Auto's trade mark, and they will have to pay for the use of the trade name to help enhance the influence and value of the Guangzhou Auto's label "GAIC" in the future.
It seems the two joint ventures will be more likely renamed as GAIC Toyota and GAIC Honda, though their new official names are not available in English yet, even on their corporate websites.