The Chinese market is one of the fastest growing geographic segments in the automotive world and General Motors is currently a partner in China’s best-selling brand. GM China joined forces in 2002 with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC) and Wuling Motors to create the SGMW brand, offering a range of minitrucks and mini cars in the Chinese market to the tune of over 1,000,000 units sold last year. This makes SGMW the bestselling brand as the first company to eclipse the 1 million unit mark and among the popular mini-vehicle market, SGMW has been the top seller for four straight years. Based on this success, GM announced yesterday that the SGMW group would be rolling out a new passenger car brand that will carry the name Baojun.
Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group had this to say about the new joint venture:
The introduction of Baojun is part of GM’s multi-brand strategy in China. Baojun will complement our other brands sold in China including our fastest-growing mainstream nameplate, Chevrolet. It will enable us to better address the increasingly segmented Chinese vehicle market.
Baolun, which is the Chinese word for “treasured horse” (hence to new logo, above) is expected to build off of the success of the SGMW mini vehicles while addressing the growing demand for roomier passenger cars. The new brand will reportedly be built and sold strictly in China and right now there is no indication whether the Baojun cars will be based on any current GM models but with the rabid growth of the Buick and the introduction of the Chevrolet brand in China, Baojun may have to take a different route to success than the other GM brands in order to prevent inner-corporation competition.
General Motors success in the global market spells good things for the Detroit area as the money made overseas helps to support the Detroit-based automakers as the domestic market continues to climb out of the hole created by last year’s industry crash.
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