In the second half of 2011, General Motors Co. will be introducing its battery-powered Chevrolet Volt car in China. Carmakers have been launching more fuel-efficient vehicles in this country. Kevin Wale, president of the US automaker's China business, said that the volumes “won't be large.”
He explained that because many of the Chinese consumers are buying a car for the first time, they have not yet become conscious about the environmental impact.
GM and its partner SAIC Motor Corp. teamed up with Nissan Motor Co. and Daimler AG in battery-powered vehicles in China, which is the biggest auto market and oil importer in the world.
The Chinese government gives subsidies to those who buy these vehicles since the country is aiming to reduce its fuel dependence.
GM, the biggest overseas automaker in China, didn’t disclose its sales target. GM has yet to announce the Volt’s price in China. But we know that in the US where the Volt will be introduced in November, the price tag will say $41,000 before subsidies.
In Europe, the Volt will be sold as the Opel Ampera starting next year. The Volt can run for about 40 miles using batteries but it is also equipped with a gasoline engine that extends the driving range to as much as 360 miles.
John Zeng, an analyst from J.D. Power & Associates, said that it will be difficult to market these cars in China because of its high cost and since China lack charging infrastructure. Zeng said that what the Volt will accomplish more of is “to enhance GM's green image.” [via autonews - sub. required]