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GM Shuts Down Spin Production in Indonesia

Poor sales, low profits spell end for 500 jobs at plant.

by on Feb.26, 2015

GM will stop building the Chevrolet Spin in Indonesia this summer and close the plant just outside of Jakarta eliminating 500 jobs.

Weeks after announcing a new partnership with its Chinese partner, SAIC Motor Corp., to build small SUVs in Indonesia, General Motors is shuttering its car-making operations in the world’s fourth-most populous country.

The move means the loss of 500 jobs in the country as GM recalibrates its efforts to be successful in Asia. Right now, it means a move toward making more sport-utility vehicles and getting out of building cars on it’s own. The automaker was getting beaten up by Japanese makers.

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“GM Indonesia is undergoing a market-driven transformation,” said Stefan Jacoby, GM executive vice president and president, GM International, in a release. “This transformation will strengthen the business and dealer network by focusing on building the Chevrolet brand and delivering a competitive, high-quality portfolio to meet the needs of customers in Indonesia.” (more…)

GM Pushing into Indonesia with New Plant

Maker teams with SAIC, Wuling to build, sell new minivan.

by on Feb.02, 2015

GM builds the Chevrolet Spin at a plant it reopened in Indonesia in 2013, after it closed in 2005.

General Motors and its principal Chinese partner, SAIC Motor Corp., are teaming up to for a push into Indonesia, one of Southeast Asia’s largest markets.

SAIC-GM-Wuling, a joint venture between GM China, SAIC and Wuling Motors, announced that it plans to build a manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Jakarta to assemble Wuling brand vehicles for the country’s expanding vehicle market.

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Several media reports suggest the new plant will build a small minivan at the plant with plans for it to hit the market under the Wuling banner in 2017. The factory will have the capacity to build 150,000 vehicles annually. (more…)

GM Sets New Sales Record – Again – in China

Another month, another record?

by on May.08, 2012

The Buick Envision concept car at last month's Beijing Motor Show.

Another month another record seems to have become the prevailing pattern for General Motors in China. The U.S. giant and its various Chinese joint ventures set a domestic sales record for April of 227,217 vehicles.

Demand was up 11.7% from the same month in 2011, GM reported as it continues to defy the slowdown in China’s vehicle market due to the strength of the Wuling brand, which is marketed to customers in China’s vast interior.

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GM has also been gaining traction with the all-new Baojun brand.  Launched late last year, it’s a joint effort of the U.S. maker and partners SAIC and Wuling.  Baojun is specifically targeting the next generation of first-time buyers as China’s economic boom spreads from the Pacific Coast to the country’s interior and western provinces.

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Wuling: GM’s secret weapon in fight for China

Targeting the next generation of Chinese motorists.

by on Apr.26, 2011

The new Baojun 630 will target the next wave of new Chinese car buyers.

Far from the bright lights and sophistication of its base in Shanghai, General Motors has developed a secret weapon in the duel for supremacy in the Chinese market.  In 2010, SGMWuling, or Wuling for short, generated roughly 50% of all GM’s sales in China.

Based in LiuZhou, a gritty industrial city some 1,400 kilometers (875 miles) south of Shanghai, Wuling is now the single largest brand sold in all of China – by far dominating the more familiar Buick brand that was GM;s first entry into the Chinese market. Wuling’s small, utilitarian vans dominate one of the largest and most important segments in China’s fast-growing vehicle market and it’s quickly adding capacity to capitalize on its recent success.

In addition, Wuling is launching its own car brand, Baojun, which will fill in price points below Chevrolet and appeal to motorists in China’s second, third and fourth-tier cities where buyers tend to be more concerned about value and affordability than status.

“Wuling is most respected in rural areas,” notes Kevin Wale, president of GM China, adding Baojun is aimed at market where buyers want value. Thus, the prices for the Baojun 630, which was unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show last week, is expected to start at around $8,500. SGMW hasn’t confirmed any prices yet, however no vehicle in the line now costs more than $9,500.

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Wuling already sells one passenger car, the Letchi, which is based on the old Chevrolet Spark, and the plans are to add more models to the Baojun line fairly quickly.  It will compete for sales in inland China with regional brands that play an important role for ambitious local Chinese auto companies such as Geely and Chery.

Matthew Tsien, Wuling vice president and one of a small cadre of GM personnel assigned to LiuZhou, explained that Wuling is a three-way joint venture between GM, its Shanghai-based partner SAIC and a local, state-owned enterprise, LiuZhou Wuling Motor Co. Ltd.

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GM Launching New, Low-Cost Brand In China

No plans for U.S. distribution.

by on Jul.19, 2010

GM will partner with SAIC and Wuling on the new Chinese brand, Baojuan.

With Chinese booming auto market spreading across the country, General Motors has launched a new joint venture aimed at capitalizing on demand for smaller low-cost cars.

The new Baojun brand is a three-way joint venture established by GM and its partners SAIC and Wuling Motors.  They currently cooperate on the production of a low-priced microvan, but under Baojun will focus on small cars aimed at the next generation of Chinese buyers in the country’s second and third-tier cities.

The project, GM says, will exclusively target China, though some industry observers believe it could eventually provide a production base for GM to ship products to other emerging markets in Asia and other parts of the world.

“The introduction of Baojun is part of GM’s multi-brand strategy in China,” said Kevin Wale, the president of the fast-growing GM China Group. “Baojun will complement our other brands sold in China including our fastest-growing mainstream nameplate, Chevrolet. It will enable us to better address the increasingly segmented Chinese vehicle market.”

GM’s latest move reflects its increasing focus on China, which so far this year has been a larger market for the maker than the United States.  GM is locked in a pitched battle with the German Volkswagen AG for dominance in China, VW announcing expansion plans of its own just last week.

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China is currently the world’s largest national auto market, taking the lead from the troubled U.S. market last year.  While demand has been slowing, Chinese car sales have continued to grow at a double-digit rate so far this year.

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