When General Motors entered a partnership with China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corperation and Wuling Motors back in 2002, The General’s goal was to bring highly affordable yet dependable products to the booming Chinese market. In 2009, the automotive group, which has come to be known as SGMW, sold over a million units thanks to the success of Wuling’s commercial vans and trucks as well as the Chevrolet Le Chi mini-car. Now, the group’s next plan of action involves launching an all-new brand that will break through to the ever-important entry level segment.
The brand – dubbed Baojun (or “prized horse”), looks to build on the amounting success of SGMW by offering consumers a passenger car in the range of $7,000 – which is more affordable than the already frugal Chevrolet Sail. Competition will stem from other penny-wise models such as the Tata Nano, but Baojun will further fortify GM and its 34 percent stake in the SGMW joint-venture by offering more options to the booming yet still developing Chinese automotive market. Could Baojun be the recipient of GM’s rumored Tata Nano fighter? We don’t know just yet, but await to see the first product announcement from the fledgling Baojun, which is hopefully not too far away.