Shanghai General Motors Co., a joint venture between General Motors and Chinese carmaker SAIC Motor Corp., is recalling nearly 1.5 million vehicles due to potential safety issues. The recall covers 1.46 million China-built Buick and Chevrolet models, no thanks to issues with a bracket securing the fuel pump, according to the country's quality watchdog.
A Shanghai-based GM official told Reuters that some of the recalled vehicles include the Chevrolet Sail that is exported to emerging markets. On the other hand, the watchdog disclosed that a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. will recall nearly 81,000 Kuga cars over an issue on a steering part.
According to Yale Zhang, head of Automotive Foresight, the GM recall was big in number since both the Buick Excelle and the Chevrolet Sail are high-volume, mainstream cars, but noted that the cause of the recall didn't seem too serious. "GM has warned that the affected component might crack after long use and lead to fuel leakage, but in real life it doesn't appear to have happened," Zhang remarked.
He said that some carmakers recall products proactively more as a precaution, noting that the GM recall shouldn't affect its reputation in China that much. US carmakers in China have generally outpaced growth in the overall market, mainly thanks to their popular lineups and partly thanks to consumer backlash that hit Japanese companies in the country.
GM posted an 11-percent hike in sales in China in the first 11 months of 2013 to 2.89 million vehicles. Ford was up 51 percent in the period to 840,975 vehicles. Overall China vehicle sales surged 13.5 percent in the first 11 months of 2013 to 19.86 million, with car sales rising 15.1 percent to 16.15 million, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.