A new brand, Baojun, will be introduced by the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture to handle marketing of its future lineup of passenger cars. The Chinese word Baojun is translated to "treasured horse."
According to the partnership among General Motors Co., Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. and Wuling Motors, the first passenger car model will be launched next year. These plans were outlined last Sunday during a press event in Shanghai.
The first Wuling car model will be a mid-sized sedan based on the Buick Excelle. The car was designed by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center, a Shanghai design studio shared by GM and SAIC.
Baojun is aimed at the low end of China's fast-growing car market, a segment that's currently dominated by China's domestic brands.
Shen Yang, general manager of SAIC-GM-Wuling, said that the venture seeks to exceed customer expectations by making a brand that merges world-class quality with low ownership costs.
Based in Liuzhou, in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture sells a range of entry-level commercial minivans and mini-trucks. Its sales topped 1 million units in 2009.
Shen Yang, General Manager of SAIC-GM-Wuling, remarked that the Baojun brand is being positioned as a reliable partner bearing a confident, smart and dependable image. Yang added that the brand fuses world-class quality with low ownership costs.
On the other hand, Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group, quipped that the introduction of Baojun is part of the US carmaker’s multi-brand strategy in China, as it would complement its other brands in the country.
One example is Chevrolet. He added that adding the new brand would allow GM to better address the segmented vehicle market in China. Meanwhile, Chen Hong, President of SAIC Motor, expressed confidence in Baojun becoming another good example of successful partnership between his company, GM and Wuling.
Hong noted that with the combined resources from the partners, the new brand could ensure an excellent ownership experience for more consumers. SAIC-GM-Wuling is a joint venture formed in 2002 between GM China, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC) and Wuling Motors.
Based in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, SAIC-GM-Wuling assembles Wuling brand mini-trucks and minivans and Chevrolet Le Chi mini-car. The joint venture sold 1,061,213 units in China in 2009, thus becoming the first carmaker country to surpass the 1 million-vehicles mark in a year.