Not content with being China’s largest foreign automaker, General Motors hopes to further increase its sales in the country with its newly launched low-cost Baojun brand, which the Detroit automaker developed with local partners SAIC and Wuling.
With the Baojun brand, GM wants to compete in the fast-growing market for new cars in smaller Chinese cities targeting first-time buyers with a budget of around $10,000. Domestic Chinese rivals include Chery Automobile, Geely Automobile Holding and BYD.
Following the presentation of the Baojun’s first model, the 630 compact sedan in November of 2010, the four-door car went on sale today in China.
“We are proud to be bringing our much-anticipated midsize sedan to the people of China,” said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. “The launch tour gives those who are looking for high-quality, affordable personal transportation the opportunity to get to know and appreciate the Baojun 630.”
GM said the Baojun 630 is initially being targeted at consumers in China’s second- and third-tier cities, but will gradually be rolled out in first- and fourth-tier cities nationwide. Upon launch, more than 120 Baojun 4S retailers opened their door around China.
At launch, Bajoun offers three variants of the 630 sedan at a retail price of between RMB 62,800 and RMB 73,800 (US$9,757 – $11,466 or €6,859 – €8,060)
The compact size model features a 450-liter trunk capacity and is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 109-horsepower (81kW) at 5,800 rpm and a peak torque of 146Nm (107.7 lb-ft) at 4,200. A five-speed manual gearbox transfers power to the front wheels, with GM stating that it returns a combined fuel economy of 6.9lt/100km (34.1mpg US).
GM aims to sell around 20,000 Baojun 630s in China this year.