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SAIC-GM-Wuling eyes overseas market for own-brand Baojun cars

By Amanda Zheng  From Gasgoo.comNovember 23, 2010

Shanghai November 23 ( SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW), one of GM China's main joint ventures, rolled out yesterday its first own-brand Baojun 630 passenger car, which the automaker is considering exporting to India and other overseas markets through technology transfer, Shanghai Securities News reported Tuesday.

SGMW, a joint venture between General Motors, SAIC Motor and Liuzhou Wuling Automobile, expects to launch the Baojun 630 in the domestic market early next year, targeting mainly the segment of middle-class vehicles.

Bullish on the rapid development of its mini commercial vehicle joint venture, General Motors has entered into an agreement Sept. 30 to purchase an additional 10% stake in SGMW for $51 million from Wuling Group, a move that makes the joint venture assessable to advanced, global technical support.

Unlike other homegrown car brands, the Baojun was initially researched and developed for export. SGMW has already started export of its mini vehicles, and has taken its first step towards output of products, management team and operation model in India.

The China-based automaker is now mulling over the option to supply the CKD and provide technology transfer to overseas participants. The technology transfer fee of the Baojun car reportedly could reach 1.6 billion yuan ($241 million) in five years.

The compact sedan features a highly efficient GM powertrain that meets all local emission standards as well as the advanced Euro IV standard, and will be built at SGMW's facility in Liuzhou, which has an initial annual capacity of more than 100,000 vehicles.
Since its founding in 2002, SGMW has adopted a business model of "low-cost operation and cost-effective competition," which helped it boosted sales of 1,061,213 vehicles in 2009, becoming the only automaker in China to sell more than 1 million vehicles in a single year, said SAIC chairman Hu Maoyuan.

SGMW has been the sales leader among Chinese mini-vehicle producers for four consecutive years. In the first 10 months of 2010, SGMW sold a record 1,058,346 vehicles.

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