GM to launch 60-plus new, upgraded models in China; Volt, LaCrosse eAssist headed there soon

Buick Envision SUV Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

Electrification seems to be the name of the game these days and, with General Motors scheduled to launch more than 60 new or upgraded models in China over the next five years, it's safe to bet that a heaping pile of those vehicles will feature some sort of electrified powertrain. Actually, even Kevin Wale, president and managing director of GM China says that:
Electrification has become the overriding trend of the global automotive industry for reducing its century-long dependence on petroleum.
With that in mind, GM China will offer the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid later this year and intends to roll out a drivable version of the Sail battery-electric concept vehicle soon. Wale says that GM will be launching the Buick LaCrosse with eAssist in China and is working on something that incorporates the automaker's plug-in hybrid technology, which is found in the Buick Envision SUV concept on display at the Shanghai Motor Show.

Finally, GM plans to extends it cooperative agreement with strategic partner SAIC to develop next-generation electric vehicle architecture and is establishing a battery lab at the GM Advanced Technical Center in Shanghai.

  • Buick Envision SUV Concept front 3/4

    • Buick Envision SUV Concept front 3/4

    • Buick Envision SUV Concept side

    • Buick Envision SUV Concept doors open

    • Buick Envision SUV Concept interior

[Source: General Motors]
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GM China Announces Five-Year Plan for Continued Success


* Introduce more than 60 new and upgraded models
* Lead the industry in electrification
* Implement vision of sustainable transportation
* Double annual sales to around 5million vehicles

Shanghai – GM China Group President and Managing Director Kevin Wale shared with local and global media today GM's five-year plan for continued success in the automaker's largest market prior to the start of Auto Shanghai 2011.

According to Wale, "Over the last 15 years, GM has focused on growing all areas of our business in China – from our brands to our product lineup to new business opportunities – both on our own and with our partners. We have recorded many achievements, but we still have a lot more to achieve."

Introduce more than 60 new and upgraded models

GM has adopted a multi-brand strategy to meet the differing and constantly changing needs of the market. It offers a broad portfolio of brands to ensure it brings the right products to its customers at the right time.

Over the next five years, GM will be introducing more than 60 new models and major product upgrades. Its two mainstream brands, Buick and Chevrolet, will account for nearly half.

Buick will introduce about 12 new and upgraded products to expand its image as the leading premium vehicle brand in . In addition to rolling out a variety of new body styles and lifestyle vehicles, Buick will also offer its customers the latest technologies.

From Chevrolet will come 15 new models and upgrades, which will range from affordable small cars to midsize sedans. Chevrolet will also bring to the market a new lineup of SUVs and performance vehicles.

Wale emphasized that GM will continue to leverage its unmatched local vehicle development capability, including its Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint venture in .

"Successful new models like the Chevrolet New Sail and new Buick GL8, and the upcoming Baojun 630, have all been developed in ," he said. "Our growing product development capability will enable us to continue moving quickly to meet the unique needs of the market and our customers nationwide."

Lead the industry in electrification

Electrification has become the overriding trend of the global automotive industry for reducing its century-long dependence on petroleum, according to Wale. GM offers the most comprehensive range of new energy products of any automaker in . It has already introduced locally the Buick LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid and Cadillac Escalade two-mode hybrid.

Later this year, will be among the first global markets to offer the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle. Last month, the Volt became the first electric car to travel a long distance – from to – nonstop.

Wale announced that this week the Volt and Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V) showcased at World Expo 2010 will participate in a ride and drive program organized by the Shanghai Municipal Government's New Energy Promotion Office. The program will be held in Jiading, an international EV pilot site.

In December 2010, Shanghai GM introduced the Sail battery-electric concept vehicle, which was developed by Shanghai GM and PATAC. A drivable version will be introduced following Auto Shanghai 2011.

Wale said that GM will be introducing the new Buick LaCrosse with eAssist, which offers a fuel economy improvement of 25 percent, and sharing its plug-in hybrid technology, which is being demonstrated in the Buick Envision SUV concept vehicle that is making its debut at Auto Shanghai 2011.

GM also plans to cooperate with its strategic partner SAIC to co-develop a next-generation electric vehicle architecture relevant for and is establishing a battery lab at the new GM Advanced Technical Center in to explore battery technologies. It will work with the domestic supply base as well to develop a strong local capability for the provision of high-quality components essential to support the industry's move to electrification.

Implement vision of sustainable transportation

Last year at World Expo 2010 , GM introduced its vision of sustainable urban transportation in the year 2030. At the SAIC-GM Pavilion, it showcased a future that promises to be free from petroleum, free from vehicle emissions, free from accidents, and free from traffic congestion.

"Although Expo 2010 has ended, we are continuing our progress to help create a cleaner, greener future for the people of and the world," said Wale.

It published the GM Sustainable Urban Mobility Blue Paper at the conclusion of Expo 2010 as a call for action and a roadmap to the future. In the five-year plan, the company is taking initiatives to bring the vision to life.

On April 17, GM signed an MOU with the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Investment and Development Co. Ltd. (SSTEC). GM will introduce a next generation of the EN-V, which was a centerpiece of its display at Expo 2010, for testing in a real-world environment. As part of the agreement, GM will initiate a feasibility study to incorporate the mobility Internet into the transportation infrastructure for vehicles of tomorrow to operate.

Wale divulged that GM has reached a preliminary agreement with the to conduct joint research to address urban congestion challenges as part of its effort to directly address the concerns being expressed in major cities.

Double annual sales to around 5 million vehicles

According to Wale, GM has all the fundamentals in place to continue to lead the industry. To further capitalize on the unmatched opportunities that the Chinese market offers, GM plans to double its sales volume from about 2.35 million units in 2010 to around 5 million units by 2015.

The automaker will put a premium on growing sales in a sustainable manner that is integrated with the growth of 's capability.

"We have set some aggressive goals with our five-year plan," said Wale. "We are confident that we will achieve every one of our goals by providing local consumers great products and compelling designs relevant to the market and by following our strategy of working in , with , and for ."

General Motors Company, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in , GM employs 202,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, and . More information on General Motors can be found at

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