GM to introduce new Chevy lineup in China
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.