The top motor show in the world’s largest car market has opened in Shanghai.
Underlining how important China now is for the world’s auto manufacturers there are several new model launches – including Citroen’s DS Five – alongside plenty of concept cars, and electric vehicles
General Motors unveiled the first of its locally developed Baojun brand cars, which will sell only in China, as it pushs to expand sales in smaller cities and town beyond the so called tier-one locations like Beijing and Shanghai:
GM China chief Kevin Wale said: “This is a big launch for us. It’s a big segment of the market, and we think that we are bringing something unique to the market for China – a combination of global expertise, global quality, global manufacturing in an affordable vehicle that can compete for tier-two, tier-three customers.”
Sales growth in China is slowing from its breakneck pace in recent years, but the world’s most populous nation is very attractive to carmakers facing lacklustre demand in the more mature markets of Europe and the US.
General Motors said it is looking to more than double its sales in China to around five million units by 2015, up from 2.35 million units in 2010.
It plans to launch the Baojun brand, which it is producing through a venture with SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) in southern China, at 150 dealerships and to expand quickly.