GAC Motor and Hollywood: A Love Story
The true story of how an international blockbuster came to feature GAC Motor vehicles
GAC Motor regarded the cooperation as an important lesson in how to fuse Eastern and Western culture, and strategically set itself apart from previous placement of China-based brands in Hollywood films.
HONG KONG, July 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — GAC Motor (“GAC”) never had any notion that it would have anything to do with Transformers 4. Not every brand has the power and influence to earn a prominent place in a Hollywood blockbuster. GAC, as a newcomer among China’s proprietary brands, had not given a thought to getting a spot in the film.
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GAC had been expanding according to plan and officially launched its overseas strategy in 2013 to raise awareness of its brand. In January 2013, GAC provided Chinese flavor to the North American International Auto Show with three vehicles: a four-wheel-drive hybrid sedan called GAC MOTOR, an electric SUV “prototype” dubbed GAC MOTOR GS5 and the range-extended electric hybrid E-jet, a concept car.
GAC caught the eye of a Transformers 4 producer at that show. As he passed by the GAC booth, he took note of the E-jet’s modeling and immediately had a positive feeling about what the Chinese automaker was capable of.
“The terms of cooperation proposed by the Transformers 4 team were highly acceptable. As the release of the movie coincided with the launch of our international expansion strategy, we looked forward to joining hands with them if the conditions were right. This cooperation will surely bring GAC into the spotlight and will be helpful to our overseas promotion,” recalled Liu Haoyuan, head of public relations at GAC.
In the film’s storyline, a made-in-China vehicle that Chinese officials and military top brass drive is required. GAC was selected as a potential supplier by the Ministry of Public Security’s Purchase Center for Police Equipment in April 2013. After undergoing a stringent series of tests and evaluations conducted by the Chinese military, GAC was ranked No.1 on the supplier list.
GAC General Manager Wu Song explained, “We only had one requirement: that the shot of our car be inserted at the right time and place.” GAC believes that “Quality is everything.” One of the goals that Wu Song wanted to achieve through the cooperation was gradually changing the world’s opinion of China’s indigenous brands. Step by step, China-based brands can be accepted by international consumers once they have hands-on experience. Chinese brands will have a role to play in the world market.
The overseas expansion history of China-based brands and Michael Bay’s career path share something in common. Michael Bay had his ups and downs when he was a young director. For a while nothing he tried was successful; even DreamWorks Studios shut its door to him. However, thanks to the Transformers movies, Michael Bay has turned the tables. It’s not a good thing for a person to be lucky in everything he or she does. Similarly, if China-based brands had not learned their lessons the hard way, they may not trigger the reverence among consumers they are commanding today.
As for Michael Bay, he is interested in having a car that reflects his own tastes. We can picture what an exciting scene it would be if Michael Bay were to take part in car design at GAC: that would be a truly sensational event just as GAC, as a solely Asian car brand, was featured in the car-themed world classic Transformers.