GM’s Latest SUV, The Wuling Hong Guang S3, Costs Less Than $9,000

If you live in China, for a mere RMB 56,800, which comes out to just $8,558 at the current exchange rates, you could get GM’s latest SUV, the Wuling Hong Guang S3.

This makes it more affordable than the entry-level Ford Fiesta on our side of the pond, and it stays that way even in its range-topping guise, which can be had at RMB 81,800 ($12,325).

However, there’s a major catch here, because the Wuling Hong Guang S3 is a China-only vehicle, made by the automotive giant’s local joint venture, SAIC-GM-Wuling, so don’t expect to see it in Western markets, not now, not ever.

For what it’s worth, the Wuling Hong Guang S3 has an exterior design reminiscent of old Chevys and Daewoos, but it has been adorned with LED DRLs integrated on the sides of the front bumper, fog lamps, and a floating-style roofline.

Inside it gets a clean layout, with dual-tone leather trim depending on the selected grade, an 8-inch LCD screen, large electronic instrument display, and a quartz clock, for what the automaker describes as an added “sense of luxury”. It has a 2+2+3 seating layout, and all three rows of seats have their own air-conditioning vents and USB ports.

Based on the same platform as the Hong Guang MPV, the SUV also features a multi-link independent rear suspension, and some safety features such as ESC, hill-start hold control, cruise control, and others.

The engine family includes two members: naturally aspirated and turbocharged versions of a 1.5-liter unit.

PHOTO GALLERY

  • gary4205

    Cheap labor makes a huge difference.

    • Stephen G

      Really? Tell that to the Buick Envision at $50K.

      • Status

        GM doesn’t care. You can pay the same wage to a Chinese worker to assemble a $9K SUV or a $50K SUV. The fact is that neither SUV could be made in America profitably. If the Envision sales are anything to go by, the American buying public doesn’t care either.

        • Stephen G

          “The fact is that neither SUV could be made in America profitably.” Please explain the 105 new Chevrolet Tahoes for under $40K on Cars.com.

      • Six_Tymes

        spot on.

  • Bash

    The interior doesn’t look bad actually.

    • rodriguez256

      Actually looks better than some of GMs more expensive cars. However the feel of the materials may be cheaper.

      • Bash

        True

      • CarCzarDesigner

        Even if that is true, upgrading the materials for export wouldn’t be difficult.

  • Dennis Scipio

    Apart from the Interior, the Exterior does show that $8,558 the materials can’t be high quality.

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      The chrome window trim is showing fitment issues in the PRESS PHOTOS.

      I can only imagine how bad this is in real life.

  • Nick099

    The devil may be in the details; like airbags, crash protection, emission controls, pedestrian crash safety, etc.

    • Six_Tymes

      key word “may”. are you making a negative assumption, or do you know as fact that it does not have crash protection, emission controls?

      • Nick099

        Knowing something of manufacturing and associated costs, there are numerous regulations and laws in the western world that add enormously to the cost of any particular item….especially when it comes to safety and litigation….and we live in a litigious society. That being stated, one can also make an assumption with a high degree of confidence that the concern for life in China is much lower a standard as compared to western civilization ( e.g. Tiananmen Square, lead paint, air pollution, etc.). After all, it is a totalitarian society.

        Then there is this from http://ijbssnet.com/journals/Vol_3_No_13_July_2012/9.pdf :

        “..With the rapidly enlarged automobile market scale and the increased vehicle population, comes the continuously increasing accidents, which claims lives ranging from around 65,000 to 120,000 annually in recent years.

        Since the end of 2011, an intensely discussed public issue in China has been the school bus security aroused by a series of tragic traffic accidents involving heavy death tolls
        (Note 1)..”

        Also section 4.4. may answer your question in part. I’ll point out that the Chinese have only started to rate and release vehicle crash test results since 2006.

        None of this means the Chinese are not making strides in safety, just that they are suffering from the same type of growing pains that many western countries, including the US lived through decades ago. Therefore it is not unreasonable to posit the low pricing of Chinese vehicles are not just affected by lower labor costs ( although they import most of the natural resources for manufacturing…which adds cost), but by less stringent regulations.

        So yeah…I am making a negative assumption, based upon real information

  • Braddo

    I’ve got dinner plates bigger than those wheels. The whole thing looks like $9k…

  • “don’t expect to see it in Western markets, not now, not ever”
    ANYONE COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT?

    • no25

      wait so you do know how to type in lowercase? your caps lock isn’t broken? interesting.

  • Six_Tymes

    they should figure out a way to bring it to other countries, because then people with low incomes could afford a new vehicle/suv and not drive around in very old gas sucking ultra polluting cars. I would think this does have basic up to date crash protection and emission controls. I would buy one immediately, even if it was 3-4 thousand more (and be a automatic)

    • fabri99

      Exactly what I’ve always thought about south american B segment cars. Nowadays a Fiat Panda, in Italy, will take you no less than 10 grand, yet what most people want is the cheapest way possible to get from A to B. Don’t you think they would buy a great deal of brasilian Fiat Uno, at like €6,000, with slightly upgraded interiors and safety standards meeting EuroNCAP? They would, and the same we could say about the VW Gol. A Polo or even an Up! will take you at least €12,000, while the Gol could only cost 7k.

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