GM will invest up to $7b in China's market

By Li Fangfang (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-04-20 13:48
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SHANGHAI - General Motors (GM), the largest foreign automaker by sales in China, will invest $5 billion to $7 billion over the next five years in the world's biggest vehicle market, aiming to double its sales to 5 million units by 2015.

The US automaker's five-year plan for continued success in its largest market also includes introducing more than 60 new models and major product upgrades, with nearly half coming from its two mainstream brands, Buick and Chevrolet.

"Over the last 15 years, GM has focused on growing all areas of our business in China - from our brands to our product lineup to new business opportunities - both on our own and with our partners," said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of General Motors China.

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"We have recorded many achievements, but we still have a lot more to achieve."

To further capitalize on the opportunities the Chinese market offers, according to Wale, GM plans to double its sales volume from about 2.35 million units in 2010 to around 5 million units by 2015.

"To support our strong growth, we will expand our annual investment in China from the current $1 billion to at least $1.5 billion for every year to come, with a total investment of $5 to $7 billion in China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) period," Wale said.

The automaker will put a premium on increasing sales in a sustainable manner that is integrated with the growth of China's capability, he said.

In recent years, GM has adopted a multibrand strategy to meet the differing and changing needs of the market. It offers a broad portfolio of brands in an effort to bring the right products to its customers at the right time.

Wale said the company will introduce about 12 new and upgraded products under the Buick brand to expand its image as the leading premium vehicle brand in China.

From Chevrolet will come 15 new models and upgrades, ranging from affordable, small cars to midsize sedans. Chevrolet will also bring a new lineup of sport utility vehicles and performance vehicles to answer the rising demand in those market segments, Wale said.

He emphasized that GM will continue to leverage its local vehicle development capability, including its Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center joint venture in Shanghai.

"Successful new models such as the Chevrolet New Sail and new Buick GL8, and the upcoming Baojun 630, have all been developed in China," he said. "Our growing product development capability will enable us to continue moving quickly to meet the unique needs of the market and our customers nationwide."

GM and its joint ventures in China set domestic sales records in the first quarter, with total deliveries of 685,583 units, up 10 percent over last year, compared with domestic vehicle sales growth of 8 percent.