General Motors Co. launched its first sedan under a new China-only brand in order to tap the entry-level buyers in the largest vehicle market in the world. The company is the largest overseas vehicle manufacturer in China. The 1.5-liter four-door Baojun 630 sedan will go on sale with prices ranging from 62,800 yuan ($9,750) to 73,800 yuan, the company revealed.
The vehicle will be available in three kinds and will be available through 120 dealers in eight cities, including Harbin, Changsha, Nanning and Zhengzhou.
The company follows Honda Motor Co. in building cheaper China-only brands in order to increase sales among first-time buyers while overall car deliveries slow this 2011 after the government halted giving incentives and imposed ownership restrictions to discourage traffic congestion.
The Baojun brand is expected to appeal to "young professionals and young families" in the so-called second- and third-tier cities, according to executive vice president Matthew Tsien, who overseas the company’s China unit.
In 2009, the country overtook the United States as the largest vehicle market worldwide. Sales went up by a record 32 percent in 2010, and increased 3.4 percent in the first half of 2011, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The company is targeting sales of 20,000 Baojun sedans this year, Tsien stated.
He added that the Chevrolet Spark vehicle will be rebadged in China under the Baojun name, which will concentrate on building smaller models. Industry sales may increase around 10 percent this year as deliveries of mini-commercial cars drop, President Kevin Wale at GM's China business disclosed in a July 8 interview. This is 10 percent to 15 percent than his estimate last November.