GM to in­tro­duce new Chevy lineup in China

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By PAUL WELITZKIN in New York paulwelitzkin@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

China has emerged as a key mar­ket for Gen­eral Mo­tors Co as the US au­tomaker’s Chevro­let divi­sion an­nounced on Wed­nes­day that it will in­tro­duce more than 20 new or re­freshed mod­els in the coun­try by the end of 2020.

“You have to have more prod­ucts” in a fast-grow­ing mar­ket like China, David Whis­ton, auto in­dus­try an­a­lyst with Morn­ingstar Inc said. “Chevy is a rel­a­tively young brand in China so it makes sense for GM to make th­ese in­vest­ments.”

The new mod­els will in­clude the Mal­ibu XL and Mal­ibu XL Hy­brid, an all-new Cruze, a Cava­lier com­pact mid­size fam­ily sedan, and the sixth-gen­er­a­tion Ca­maro sports car, GM said.

Like buy­ers in the US, Chi­nese con­sumers are in­creas­ingly turn­ing to sport util­ity ve­hi­cles (SUVs). De­mand for SUVs has been in­creas­ing as af­flu­ent buy­ers in China fa­vor more spa­cious ve­hi­cles.

“SUVs play a cru­cial part in the prod­uct strat­egy we an­nounced for 2020. In fact, nearly 30 per­cent of the 20 new ve­hi­cles we will be in­tro­duc­ing will be SUVs,” Chad Lyons, prod­uct com­mu­ni­ca­tion man­ager for GM China said in an email. “The Chevro­let Equinox, which will come to China next year, is one of the first cru­cial play­ers for our port­fo­lio to help meet the strong de­mand that ex­ists in this area.”

“Like many Amer­i­cans, Chi­nese buy­ers may feel safer in a ve­hi­cle that is larger than a sedan,” he said.

Lyons said hy­brids and other non-tra­di­tional pow­ered ve­hi­cles are start­ing to gain trac­tion in China.

“Through 2020, we will in­tro­duce a va­ri­ety of other ef­fi­cient and pow­er­ful ad­vanced propul­sion tech­nolo­gies in­clud­ing small dis­place­ment tur­bocharged en­gines, plug-in hy­brids, hy­brids, diesels and more,” he added.

Lyons said that 99 per­cent of the ve­hi­cles GM sells in China are made in the coun­try. “As a sound busi­ness prac­tice, we pre­fer to build where we sell,” he said.

Mean­while, GM’s Buick divi­sion re­cently sur­passed 1 mil­lion in global sales for the year with more than 80 per­cent of that to­tal com­ing in China. Buick passed that sales to­tal at the end of Septem­ber, the ear­li­est date in its history. China ac­counts for 82 per­cent of Buick’s to­tal sales.

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