Back in July of 2010, General Motors, along with joint venture partners Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) and Wuling Motors announced the creation of the Bajoun, an entry-level, China-only make that offers low-cost, fuel-efficient passenger vehicles.
First up for Baojun will be the 630, a four-door sedan. The Baojun 630 is equipped with a 1.5-liter engine that cranks out 108 horsepower and 108 pound-feet of torque. The 630 comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, though some sources say a six-speed automatic is in the works, too. In terms of fuel consumption, GM says the Baojun 630 sips 6.9 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers (34.1 miles per gallon).
The overall success of the Baojun brand most likely depends on price. Offered at a starting price of RMB 62,800 ($9,762 U.S. at the current exchange rate), the 630 isn't the cheapest sedan in China. However, it's is a pocketbook-friendly mid-size sedan that GM says should sell at least 20,000 units by the end of this year.
Shanghai – The Baojun 630, the first model from SAIC-GM-Wuling's (SGMW's) new Baojun passenger car brand, began its national launch tour today in Chengdu.
Baojun is one of four brands being offered by GM's joint venture partnerships with SAIC in China, joining Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac.
"We are proud to be bringing our much-anticipated midsize sedan to the people of China," said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. "The launch tour gives those who are looking for high-quality, affordable personal transportation the opportunity to get to know and appreciate the Baojun 630."
The Baojun 630 is initially being targeted at consumers in China's second- and third-tier cities. It will gradually be rolled out in first- and fourth-tier cities nationwide.
More than 120 Baojun 4S retailers are opening for business during the national launch tour, which is also visiting the cities of Zhengzhou, Nanning, Jinan, Changsha, Shijiazhuang, Nanjing and Harbin. Three variants of the Baojun 630 are being offered at a retail price of between RMB 62,800 and RMB 73,800.
The Baojun 630 has a functional aesthetic design that incorporates signature elements of the brand's DNA. Its sporty, streamlined body features a raised high waistline. The front face – with its "dual-wing" design and smooth, flowing lines – gives the sedan a dynamic presence. It is complemented by "hawk-eye" taillamps.
The interior of the Baojun 630 is both roomy and adaptable. With a choice of brown rice or light gray colors, it exudes a feeling of warmth. More than 22 storage spaces make it practical, while its 450-liter trunk capacity is equal to that of some vehicles with 2.0-liter engines.
The Baojun 630's complete safety design provides protection not only to the driver and passengers but to pedestrians as well. Seatbelts with pre-tensioners, an ergonomically designed cabin and the use of high-strength steel for 56 percent of the body contribute to safety. A specially designed hood and curved bumpers minimize the risk to pedestrians in the event of a collision.
The Baojun 630 is equipped with a high-performance 1.5-liter P-TEC engine along with a five-speed transmission. The engine generates maximum power of 81 kW/5,800 rpm and maximum torque of 146 Nm/4,200 rpm. Its fuel consumption of 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers is ahead of other models in its segment. The Baojun 630 meets all local emission standards as well as the advanced Euro IV standard.
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. SGMW currently manufactures a range of Wuling brand mini-trucks and minivans as well as the Chevrolet Le Chi mini-car. In 2010, SGMW had record domestic sales of 1,226,860 vehicles. In the first seven months of 2011, it sold 719,268 vehicles in China.
General Motors traces its roots back to 1908. GM has 11 joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign enterprises and more than 35,000 employees in China. GM and its joint ventures offer the broadest lineup of vehicles and brands among automakers in China. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles are sold under the Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang, Opel and Wuling brands. In 2010, GM sold more than 2.35 million vehicles in China, which represented 28.8 percent growth over the prior year. It has been the sales leader among global automakers in the market for six consecutive years. More information on General Motors in China can be found at GM Media Online.