GM plans 20 new, refreshed Chevys in China through 2020

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet brand said Wednesday it plans to introduce more than 20 new or significantly refreshed vehicles in China by the end of 2020 as part of its growth plans for one of its global brands.

The Detroit automaker said nearly 30 percent of the vehicles would be SUVs and almost half would be new entries for the China market. The offerings also include vehicles with turbocharged engines, diesels, hybrids and plug-in hybrid electrics.

“Chevrolet will continue to strengthen the best model lineup in the brand’s history in China,” Alan Batey, GM North America president and head of Global Chevrolet, said in a statement. “In the coming years, we will roll out breakthrough products with technologies that improve safety, performance and fuel efficiency for our customers.”

GM said most of the new vehicles will be made in China by the company’s SAIC-GM joint venture, with many refined for China by the automaker’s Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center joint venture. GM said at least five vehicles debuted this year, including the Malibu XL, the Malibu XL Hybrid, the new Cruze, a Cavalier family sedan and the sixth-generation Camaro muscle car.

China is the second largest market for Chevrolet and overall is GM’s largest sales market. Last year, Chevy’s China sales fell 9.7 percent to 612,024, which GM said mainly was due to model changeovers. Chevrolet sales this year through September in China totaled 346,920, down nearly 21.6 percent from the same months in 2015.

GM began selling Chevy in China in 2005 through SAIC-GM. GM has sold more than 4 million Chevys in China and now has more than 600 dealers in more than 200 cities.

“As a relatively young brand in China, Chevrolet is reaching more and more customers every day,” Chevrolet Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney said in a statement. “With the introduction of additional exciting, never-before-available products in China, we expect the brand’s recognition to grow.”

Last year, GM said through 2018 that it would invest $14 billion in new vehicles, manufacturing facilities and other areas of the business in China. It also announced in 2015 that it would invest $5 billion to strengthen the Chevy brand in global growth markets, including China.

GM China officials earlier this year said the automaker plans to launch 13 new or refreshed vehicles in 2016, part of a plan to launch more than 60 new and refreshed vehicles through 2020. GM said 40 percent of those vehicles would be SUVs and multipurpose vehicles.

GM also has big aspirations for its Cadillac luxury brand in China. It has said it will launch 10 new or redesigned Cadillacs through 2020.

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