General Motors, through its joint venture with SAIC and Wuling, has produced the first model for its new entry-level brand Baojun. The name means "treasured horse" and its first model is evocatively called the 630 Passenger Car. The compact four-door is slated to go on sale in China sometime in the first half of 2011, and the very first example has just rolled off the production line.
The styling of the Baojun 630 has some lines that remind us of the Chevrolet Cruze, but there is also a handful of other influences evident throughout this five-seater. We're not sure exactly what's under that hood, but we do know it's supplied by GM and meets local as well as Euro IV emissions standards.
Baojun is hoping to capture first-time buyers in China's second and third-tier markets. Early reports pegged the 630 with a price tag of around $7,000, and we are still waiting to hear an official ruling on the MSRP. Thanks to all for the tips.
[Source: General Motors]
Will Strengthen Competitiveness of GM China Joint Venture
Liuzhou – The first Baojun 630 passenger car from SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW), one of GM China's main joint ventures, rolled off the production line today in Liuzhou, Guangxi.
Baojun is SGMW's new brand of affordable passenger vehicles that will be sold across China. The initial model, the Baojun 630, goes on sale in early 2011 through a new network of dedicated Baojun dealers.
The compact sedan was developed locally using proven GM technology. It features a highly efficient GM powertrain that meets all local emission standards as well as the advanced Euro IV standard.
"We carefully studied the market and customers," said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. "Quality, design, fuel economy and durability were made a focus to appeal to local car buyers, particularly first-time buyers in the nation's second- and third-tier markets."
According to SGMW General Manager Shen Yang, "The Baojun brand will make SGMW a more competitive automaker as we roll out a full lineup of passenger vehicles under the nameplate in the coming years. We have high expectations for the brand and our first model, the Baojun 630, which will compete in the middle range of the passenger car segment – the industry's fastest growing."
The Baojun 630 will be manufactured at SGMW's facility in Liuzhou, which has an initial annual capacity of more than 100,000 vehicles. The facility has adopted GM's Global Manufacturing System (GMS) and quality standards.
SGMW, 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. SGMW currently manufactures a range of Wuling brand mini-trucks and minivans as well as the Chevrolet Le Chi.
In 2009, SAIC-GM-Wuling had domestic sales of 1,061,213 units, becoming the only 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. In the first 10 months of 2010, SGMW sold a record 1,058,346 vehicles.