In 2002, a major automotive manufacturer turned its sights toward China, which was rapidly emerging as one of the world’s largest automotive markets. The parent company spent the next several years investing in world-class manufacturing plants inside of China and getting them up to speed while its new subsidiary focused on driving sales of the cars it had begun to produce. In order for the new company to succeed in China’s vast market, however, its top decision makers needed to address a major information challenge. How could their company organize, supplement, update and leverage massive propriety data resources to formulate more competitive strategic marketing and sales plans?
To meet this critical challenge, the automotive manufacturer turned to IHS Automotive. In 2010, the company’s marketing team chose to combine the company’s wealth of proprietary information with Chinese vehicle registration data in a single automated system – IHS PolkInsight™. This powerful tool enabled the manufacturer’s analysts to generate monthly reports that helped its leadership team better understand the company’s brand position in the market, evaluate the competition, identify untapped market opportunities, and discern regional market differences to market and sell the automotive manufacturer’s cars in China.
Prior to 2010, the company had relied on an automobile manufacturers’ association for market data. The data that the association provided did not offer insight that was specific to the company’s primary target markets nor was it organized in a manner that was useful for making strategic decisions. In addition, inefficient data gathering processes slowed the flow of information to the company’s local offices. Classifying and updating the data also proved cumbersome. In short, the subsidiary found that this legacy resource could not meet the needs of its growing business in China by providing the right market information, about its own sales and/or those of competitors, at the right time.
Delivering Holistic View for Strategic Insights
When the subsidiary began to compare various providers and solutions, they chose IHS in order to offer the company’s strategic decision makers a holistic view of China’s automotive market, reliable Chinese vehicle registration data, and analysis from respected auto industry experts–all customized to meet the company’s needs.
“A major reason why we chose IHS was to have access to the world's leading data analysts and its rigorous data products,” explained one of the company’s managers. “IHS not only provided the most comprehensive data resource for our customers, it also proposed a unique solution for our company. The IHS analysts who supported our professional team enabled us to get the full benefit of our new system and were very helpful.”
IHS Automotive data enabled us to get more specific information, contributing to a more comprehensive and detailed analysis of the market on all levels. We consider IHS a trustworthy partner.
Enhanced Efficiency for Operational Excellence
Using IHS, the automotive manufacturer was quickly able to reverse the shortcomings of its earlier information management system. Whereas the company had been spending substantial time and resources cataloguing information, it could now create an automatically updated monthly report that was not only customized to its specific markets but was also organized around the critical concepts that it needed to make strategic decisions.
“We were able to tailor the report template by setting it up to report on our standard six cities,” noted the manager. The company now uses the monthly report to identify which provinces, brands, fuel types and models exhibit better sales and to craft action plans in response. These findings have also allowed it to optimize its dealer network and to perform competitor analysis. Moreover, the report’s convenient digital format supplanted the old, burdensome workflows, accelerating the flow of vital information to its local offices. With the average time spent collecting, cataloguing and communicating market information reduced by up to 50 percent, local dealers now have more lead time to capture sales.
Tactical gains achieved by harnessing the IHS solution fed into the parent company’s larger strategic business goals for the Chinese market. By working with IHS, the subsidiary could now measure the gap between current sales and the parent company’s overall goals and plan accordingly.
“IHS Automotive data enabled us to get more specific information, contributing to a more comprehensive and detailed analysis of the market on all levels. We consider IHS a trustworthy partner,” explained the manager.
With easy and intuitive access to actionable and updated sales insight, it should perhaps come as no surprise that the automotive manufacturer has made huge strides penetrating China’s automotive market, recently achieving top car sales, outselling the majority of other auto manufacturers.