There's nothing like the world's most populous country to jump-start lagging vehicle sales.

General Motors will launch a demonstration fleet of Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicles in China this month after the automaker's China division reached an agreement with the China Automotive Technology Research Center (CATARC) to oversee the fleet for a year.

GM and CATARC will study the Volts for, among other things, real-world performance and usage habits, GM said in a statement last week. The automaker has also installed charging stations at its China headquarters in Shanghai as well as a Chevy dealership in Beijing, the office of SAE China and Tsinghua University. Another station will be added to CATARC's offices in Tianjin.

GM is hoping that overseas demand for the Volt may make up for what have been lagging sales in the U.S. GM missed its goal to sell 10,000 Volts in the U.S. last year by about 2,400 vehicles and last month started a five-week shutdown of production in order to get some of the Volts off of dealer lots. Meanwhile, both the Volt and its sister vehicle, the Opel Ampera, were awarded European Car of the Year last month and former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz said recently he predicts March would show signs of improvement.

Additionally, China is expected to account for a large chunk of the growing plug-in vehicle market. By 2017, Asia-Pacific will account for about 617,000 battery-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle sales, almost double the total in North America for that year, green-technology firm Pike Research said last year.
Show full PR text
GM China Signs MOU for Chevrolet Volt Demo Fleet

CATARC deal expected to help facilitate new energy vehicle policy development

2012-03-26

BEIJING – General Motors China has signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC) to manage GM's Chevrolet Volt demonstration fleet in Beijing for one year and to help organize workshops and seminars that will build support among decision makers and key stakeholders for vehicle electrification policy in China.

The demonstration fleet vehicles will be delivered to CATARC during April.

GM and CATARC will form a joint working team that will be responsible for gathering feedback from Volt demonstration fleet usage to better target discussions and actions to support new energy vehicle policy in China. Specific objectives and goals of the partnership will be developed through the working team. According to the MOU, both GM and CATARC will also study how real-world performance, charging and infrastructure for the Volt and other electric vehicles can address the varying needs of Chinese consumers.

"This partnership is strategically important to us," said CATARC Director Zhao Hang. "The Volt, with its cutting-edge and practical technologies, will provide information to assist us in preparing the Chinese market for future electrified vehicles."

According to Ray Bierzynski, GM China executive director of Electrification Strategy, GM's relationship with CATARC will provide GM access to top opinion leaders and policymakers.

"It is important for us to offer those in key positions to affect policy an opportunity to experience firsthand our variety of electrification solutions for reducing the automotive industry's dependence on petroleum," he said.

To support the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, GM has recently installed charging poles at Tsinghua University, the office of SAE China, a Chevrolet dealership in Beijing as well as GM's China headquarters in Shanghai. The company plans to install charging facilities at CATARC's Tianjin headquarters as well.

China is among the initial markets to introduce the Volt following the United States. As the world's first extended-range electric vehicle, the Volt is the only electric vehicle that can operate under a full range of climates and driving conditions without limitations or concern about being stranded by a depleted battery.

CATARC is the most important third-party automotive technology service organization recognized by the Chinese government. It is playing a critical role in the development of new energy vehicles.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      You know, for a "green" site, constantly harping on how the Volt "missed" its 10k Y1 target does EVs no favor. Particularly as the Volt has already sold 10k cars series production. Particularly as Nissan missed their 2011 goal, and converted less than half of their preorders into actual sales. If the objective of ABG is to proclaim that EVs don't sell, then be consistent, and don't forget to mention how Nissan failed to deliver the 20,000 Leaf preorders, how Nissan failed to meet their 10k goal. When talking about the FFE, don't forget to mention how the TCE was cancelled due to supplier instability. You know, don't forget to keep planting those seeds of "failure" in every single EV / Green article. That way, when the next something fails (I'm looking at the overpriced, underdelivering FFE right now), we can all look and see how it was ineveitable.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        Nissan 'missed' their 2011 sales targets? Presumably in the States, and it was by about 350 or so out of 10,000, and in no way comparable to GM's ~3,000 shortfall for the Volt. It is also nonsense to spin that 'converting less than half the preorders to sales' as a sales shortfall when they simply could not produce them fast enough.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Oh, yeah, thanks for proving the point by jumping up to excuse Nissan's "performance" against numbers that some random exec pulled out of thin air, while completely ignoring the key point that well over 20k brand new, OEM-developed, OEM-supported EV have been put on the roads in the past 16 months.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          SVX That is insanity. So any shortfall in an estimate is the same as any other? You imagine the preorders have vanished. They haven't, they just have not been filled yet. Perhaps you missed the earthquake in Japan and the fact that they were gradually building up production last year. However, I can't be bothered. What you are on about is not fair comment, but ridiculous trolling. Get back under your bridge.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Yes, Nissan missed their 2011 sales target, and a miss is a miss. Nissan trumpeted 20,000 preorders, and that 10k+ shortfall is far in excess of the Volt's 2500-is shortfall. As for production, Nissan certainly could produce them - Nissan stated as much later in the year, but the sales simply weren't there. Or are you saying that Nissan's production has since dropped to under 700 per month (Nov '11, Jan '12)?
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      big whoop
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 2 Years Ago
      It needs to be a Buick to sell well in China.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Demonstration fleet? I'm pretty sure we know the car works now.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Does Chevy sell the Volt in China? No (for various good reasons). The demonstration fleet is to build awareness that EREV can be good for China, and presumably to build leverage so GM can import Voltec vehicles without giving up the technology nor suffering the standard massive import duties.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @SVX pearlie A fairly accurate summation.
      wobrown10
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cross fingers they dont do a crash test.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      EZEE is saying I'm sounding too reasonable lately, so clearly I'm going to have to kick it up a notch. From the article: "GM missed its goal to sell 10,000 Volts in the U.S. last year by about 2,400 vehicles" Seriously? Is this going to be ABG's mantra in every single Volt blog? It is like Eric Loveday never left. It's like ABG can't do any better than the "loony right" that Bob Lutz has to continually rip a new one every month. Back on June 17, 2008 Bob Lutz announced the Volt production number of 10,000 units in the first year. Since that day, the entire global economy crashed, GM has gone through bankruptcy, Bob has left GM, the total new car sales numbers at one point dropped by more than a quarter, and GM has been forced to lay off and close multiple employees and plants. Now, 46 months later, GM turned out to be about 2 and a half months late on hitting their goal of 10,000 units. Because with the new April sales numbers, it is clear that they are now well over 10,000 units sold. TWO and a HALF FRICKIN` MONTHS!! So GM/Bob Lutz was off on their target plan by around 5%, after all the utter hell that GM has been through since June 17th 2008, and people are going to keep humping this point into the ground as if it was a FAILURE?!?!?! Any reasonable person would look at this as one hell of a come-back story, not a failure. GM could be dead and gone right now, and instead they are delivering a revolutionary car with massively high owner satisfaction. The only people who don't see that only being behind by 2 and a half months after all GM has been through, as the utterly miraculous come-from-behind Cinderella Story of the Decade are "loony", just like Bob says. But heck, if you can't think for yourself, let an internet meme think for you. Right Danny King? ___________________________________________ What do you think EZEE? Bombastic enough, or no?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        :D Sorry I missed this until now! Everything is researched and backed up. The 'reasonable' comment was due to....well, being reasonable. Smoke would come out of the computer in days of yore. Here, you call Danny to task, but, everything is researched, backed up, and even if a person disagrees, one cannot say you were overly mean about making your point, or resorted to name calling. Besides, GM really HAS done well. The Cruze is outselling nearly all (if not all) small cars. Lexus is talking smack about Buick (when did Lexus ever have to in the past?). Ford has done fairly well, but faltered here and there (Focus sales inflated by high numbers to fleets, the Taurus is being beaten badly by the LaCrosse). Looking objectively, every car GM has released has been a hit. Objective can be hard for some people - I prefer American brand vehicles, however, right now the Prius C would be my choice, as I am a cheap bastard. GM certainly could be dead and gone as well. Think if we would have had cars like the Cobalt, previous LaCrosse, Caddy's of the 80's being released now. What if the reliability had not started to improve? GM could have folded, or needed more bailouts, and Ford would be the leading American Brand company. With the Volt, the sales are certainly nice, although it is such a giant leap forward, the numbers to me were not as important as the fact that it got built (although, numbers are certainly important). The technology behind it, and the capabilities will be something that will be built upon, and as time goes by, more people will see what the car has to offer by way of amazing mileage and money savings. I am already waiting for the 2nd generation. Nope, still reasonable! :D
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        They could be touting the resounding success of 7000 pre-orders for the Ampera in Europe.
    • Load More Comments