General Motors looks to mirror Buick’s success in China with Baojun, the automaker’s newest car brand that was developed with partners SAIC and Wuling. But while Buick has dominated the premium market, the Baojun brand will target money-conscious shoppers.
The Baojun 630, which earlier this week made its official world debut at the Shanghai auto show, will be the first car sold by GM’s newest brand. And while there was bigger fanfare surrounding the world debut of the 2013 Chevy Malibu, GM considers the Baojun 630 an important weapon to take on China’s low-cost carmakers like Geely and Chery.
According to Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group, “The Baojun 630 will address the growing demand across the country for affordable personal transportation.”
The 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine — rated at 109 horsepower and 108 pound-feet of torque — is geared towards fuel efficiency rather than power. And while GM is marketing this is an affordable midsize car, the 630 will come equipped with a long list of safety features including anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and a rear parking assist system. GM didn’t release the entire dimensions of the 630 so we can’t judge its true size and interior capacity, but we do know it has a wheelbase of about 104 inches, which is three inches shorter than the Buick Regal.
The Baojun 630 is scheduled to go on sale shortly after the Shanghai auto show and manufacturing is done in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Initially, there will be 150 Baujun dealers operating with a total of 299 dealers set to open by the end of 2011.