Screenshot 2023-09-01 at 10.25.46 am.png

SAIC Motor Corp has seen the construction of its first customized ocean-going car carrier completed, paving the way for more car exports from the Chinese auto giant in the future.

Jiangnan Shipyard's first custom-built ocean-going car carrier for SAIC was officially launched on Tuesday Aug 29.

The LNG dual-fuel ro-ro vessel, with 7,600 car seats, will enter service next year and is planned to be used mainly on European routes and the upcoming routes to Australia and New Zealand, SAIC said.

A total of 12 new ocean-going carriers capable of carrying 7,600, 7,800 and 9,000 vehicles will be added to SAIC Anji Logistics' fleet from 2024 to 2026, the carmaker said.

Continued growth in overseas business is the main reason for SAIC's ship purchases, it said.

In 2022, SAIC's overseas sales amounted to 1.017 million units, up 45.9 percent year-on-year, topping the list of Chinese carmakers for the seventh consecutive year, it said.

In the January-July period of this year, SAIC sold 630,000 vehicles in overseas markets, with the MG brand selling 135,000 units in the period, up 148 percent year-on-year, according to the company.

Anji Logistics is the world's largest automotive logistics company, with a distribution network covering nearly 600 cities in China and more than 100 countries overseas, and an annual shipment capacity of up to 10 million vehicles, SAIC said.

Anji Logistics makes SAIC the Chinese car company with the largest fleet, SAIC said. The fleet has 30 car carriers, including 11 river vessels, 11 domestic trade sea vessels and eight foreign trade specialized vessels, and has opened seven international routes, SAIC said.

Along with the continued growth of China's auto exports, the demand for transport ships from local car companies has begun to increase significantly.

In January-July, the number of cars exported from China reached 2.78 million, up 69 percent year-on-year, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

On November 27, 2022, Xinde Marine News, a maritime information service platform, reported that several Chinese car companies, including Chery and Nio (NYSE: NIO), plan to order their own car carriers.

SAIC's Anji Logistics had previously ordered five LNG dual-fuel pure car truck carriers (PCTCs) from Jiangnan Shipyard, and there were also rumors that the company was in the process of soliciting offers from shipyards to build seven more dual-fuel 8,900 CEU PCTCs, the report said.