While the German automakers – and Buick – mop up outrageous demand for their wares in China's major metropolitan and coastal cities, General Motors wants to be the nameplate of choice in the secondary cities and the interior. And now in conjunction with its joint-venture partners SAIC and Wuling, it has launched another nameplate: Baojun. Meaning "treasured horse," Baojun is the low-cost brand that will sell passenger cars built in China for priced in the area of $7,000.

The Baojun's sales network will be built after the car is launched, but GM hasn't let slip when that will be. The aims are lofty for the small runabout tasked with opening up another market segment, with the general manager of SAIC-GM-Wuling declaring, "We aim to surpass customer expectations by creating a brand that combines world-class quality with low ownership costs." Follow the jump for the press release on the venture.

[Source: General Motors]
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SGMW's Baojun Brand to Sell Passenger Cars in China
SAIC-GM-Wuling Joint Venture getting ready for sales

2010-07-19, Shanghai – SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW), GM's mini-commercial vehicle joint venture with SAIC and Wuling Motors, announced today in Shanghai that it is launching the Baojun brand. The passenger cars of the new brand will be built and sold in China.

Baojun (which is the Chinese word for "treasured horse") is being introduced to address the growing demand for affordable passenger cars in China. SGMW's new passenger vehicle sales and distribution network will be built based on its existing network, incorporating new distributors and elements of the current structure. SGMW will begin building the new network for passenger vehicles following the official launch of the Baojun brand.

The vehicle has been developed with help of GM and SAIC's Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint venture in Shanghai.

"Baojun is being positioned as a reliable partner with an image that is confident, smart and dependable," said Shen Yang, General Manager of SAIC-GM-Wuling. "We aim to surpass customer expectations by creating a brand that combines world-class quality with low ownership costs."

"The introduction of Baojun is part of GM's multi-brand strategy in China," said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. "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."

According to Chen Hong, President of SAIC Motor, "Baojun will become another good example of successful partnership. By combining the best resources that SAIC, GM and SGMW have to offer, we will ensure an outstanding ownership experience for a greater number of consumers."

SAIC-GM-Wuling, a joint venture between GM China, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC) and Wuling Motors, was launched in 2002. It is based in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. SAIC-GM-Wuling manufactures a range of Wuling brand mini-trucks and minivans as well as the Chevrolet Le Chi mini-car. In 2009, SAIC-GM-Wuling had domestic sales of 1,061,213 units, becoming the first automaker in China to sell more than 1 million vehicles in a single year. It has been the sales leader among Chinese mini-vehicle producers for four consecutive years.

General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 205,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 157 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM is the joint global automobile partner of World Expo 2010 Shanghai along with SAIC. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.