General Motors, already the “biggest overseas automaker in China,” launched a new brand Tuesday today designed to appeal to Chinese consumers — Baojun.
GM has had success with sales in China with its Buick and Chevrolet autos. Now, the introduction of the Baojun brand, with a slogan that translates in English to "Trustworthy Companion" across China with a "launch tour," Reuters reports, will provide direct competition for “indigenous players, such as Geely Automobile Holdings, which now dominates smaller cities and townships with affordable models.”
The Baojun 630 costs between 62,800 and 73,800 yuan ($9,758-11,467), according to GM's press release, and “will target consumers in China's second- and third-tier cities initially.”
GM will then slowly introduce the brand, which means "Treasured Horse" and was announced last year, in first-tier and fourth-tier cities.
"We are proud to be bringing our much-anticipated midsize sedan to the people of China," stated 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 and its partner SAIC Motor had started to work on a new passenger car brand even before the launch of its new Sail, the cheapest foreign brand in China,” Reuters notes.
This is just the first offering from GM and SAIC, but there are many others planned to combine the technologies deisgned by GM and the manufacturing tools of SAIC.
Meanwhile, Reuters adds, Nissan and Honda “are also working with their Chinese partners to tap lower-tier cities with affordable quality cars.”