GM Unveils Baojun 630, First for New Chinese Brand.

GM has just unveiled it’s first vehicle as part of its new, Chinese-only Baojun brand (Baojun means “Treasured Horse”).  The Baojun 630 is Chevy Cruze-sized car offering a 108hp, 1.5L engine and an estimated 34 miles per gallon.  The estimated price will be between $10,800 and $13,900.

Developed as part of GM’s existing joint venture with SAIC and Wuling, the Baojun 630 will likely be joined by the Chinese domestic version of the Chevy Spark, the Leichi.  The Leichi has been produced in China since 2003, and sells for approximately $6,100.

All international automakers working in China are required to work with a domestic car maker.  The Baojun brand, however, marks a distinct departure in strategy in China.  Chinese consumers prefer domestic brands for white goods, but the automotive market shows a marked preference for foreign vehicles. The release of a Chinese-only brand by GM may help lure in more Chinese car buyers. An estimated 3 out of 4 Chinese car buyers are first time buyer.  However,GM runs the risk of undermining it’s current brand loyalty.

This new Brand accompanies GM’s stated goal of nearly doubling its Chinese sales to 5 million vehicles over the next five years.

Sources: CNN, Reuters, inautonews

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