GM outlines plans for China with 17 launches this year; developing advanced propulsion and electrification tech in China
General Motors discussed its future plans in China during a press conference in conjunction with the start of Auto Shanghai 2013. GM and its joint ventures are launching 17 new and upgraded models in China this year, including the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback; the new Wuling Sunshine; two new Jiefang light-duty trucks, the S230 and F330; and the Insignia Sports Tourer, Zafira Tourer and Astra GTC from Opel.
GM is also in the process of bringing Cadillac’s entire global portfolio to China, adding one locally produced model per year through 2016. Earlier this year, it introduced the locally produced XTS luxury sedan as well as the refreshed SRX luxury SUV, which is Cadillac’s best-selling model in China.
With more new models, the expansion of its local manufacturing capability and a growing dealer network, GM expects to increase Cadillac sales from 30,000 units last year to 100,000 units in 2015. Its longer-term goal is to take Cadillac’s share of China’s luxury car market to 10% by 2020.
GM currently offers five SUVs in China: the Buick Encore and Enclave, Cadillac SRX and Escalade, and Chevrolet Captiva. It plans to introduce another nine new or refreshed SUVs in China within the next five years.
During the China Automotive Energy Forum in Beijing earlier this month, Gary Smyth, GM Executive Director of Global R&D Laboratories, reinforced the company’s commitment to developing advanced propulsion technologies and electrification solutions in China.
The GM-sponsored activity was held at the China Automotive Energy Research Center (CAERC) in conjunction with the release of the China Automotive Energy Outlook 2013, an analysis of automotive energy in China.
Smyth believes the two most important megatrends for reducing petroleum consumption, lowering tailpipe and CO2 emissions from vehicles, and creating a more sustainable energy model are (a) efficiency improvements in conventional vehicle engines and (b) electrification.
Addressing today’s energy challenges is going to be an exciting journey. GM is anxious to work with China and the rest of the world to help make it happen. This is one of the reasons why we are partnering with SAIC and Tsinghua University in CAERC.—Gary Smyth
GM expects the number of vehicles on China’s roads to surpass the number in the United States and Europe by the end of this decade.
GM has been the sales leader among global automakers in China for the past eight consecutive years. Bob Socia, President, GM China, and Chief Country Operations Officer, China, India and ASEAN, said GM would sell its 1 millionth vehicle in China this weekend—the earliest it has ever done this in a calendar year.
We are at an important point in our history and the industry’s history in China. Last year, the vehicle market reached a record 19.4 million units. We expect industry sales to grow another 7-8 percent in 2013.—Bob Socia
Additionally, GM expects to export a record 100,000-130,000 vehicles from China this year.
GM’s manufacturing facilities in China are running at near maximum capacity. GM continues to add capacity to keep up with the rising demand for its products. In 2012, GM’s joint ventures opened two new manufacturing plants. They will open four additional plants in China through 2015. This will enable GM to increase its domestic manufacturing capacity by 30% to about 5 million units annually. It will also create approximately 6,000 new manufacturing jobs.
GM and its joint ventures now have more than 55,000 employees across China, a number that has more than doubled since 2004.
GM is adding 400 dealers in 2013 alone, which will give it 4,200 dealers at year end. By 2015, GM anticipates having about 5,100 dealers nationwide. GM’s dealership focus is on expanding westward and to China’s tier 3 and tier 4 cities in the country’s interior. Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling will open a total of 1,000 dealers in western China by 2017.