August 13, 2009

SAIC-GM-Wuling Signs Agreements to Export Mini-Commercial Vehicles to South America, Middle East and North Africa

Press Release

Chevrolet N200
© GM Corp.

Shanghai — General Motors Company announced today that its SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture signed a framework agreement with GM's former Latin America, Africa and Middle East operations and distribution agreements with individual countries to export and distribute two of its most popular mini-commercial vehicles from China to markets in South America, the Middle East and North Africa.

SAIC-GM-Wuling will export Wuling N200 series and Wuling N300 series products. The vehicles will be sold under the Chevrolet brand through GM's distribution networks. GM also will provide standard aftersales support. The first shipment of 150 Wuling N200 series products is scheduled to depart from the port of Guangzhou today.

“This is an important example of how the new General Motors Company is leveraging our global resources at the local level,” said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. “By taking advantage of our unique family of minivans built and sold in China, we will address the need of GM customers in several key markets for affordable transportation for personal and commercial use.”

“The export of SAIC-GM-Wuling products under the Chevrolet badge demonstrates our products fully meet GM's advanced global standards for quality,” said SAIC-GM-Wuling President Shen Yang. “It also shows our customers in China that they are receiving truly world-class mini-vehicles.”

The Wuling N200 entered the Chinese market in 2007. The high-end product possesses a simple yet elegant design and a comfortable, spacious interior that has made it popular among families and businesspeople. In addition, it is very user friendly, which gives it a feel that is on par with passenger sedans.

The Wuling N300, which went on sale in China last year, offers a much more spacious cabin than traditional mini-commercial vehicles. It consumes less than 5.5 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers under a constant speed of 50 km/h. It is the world's first mini-commercial vehicle to receive a three-star rating in C-NCAP (China New Car Assessment Program) side crash testing.

Under an earlier agreement, SAIC-GM-Wuling began exporting the N200 to Peru in July 2008 as the Chevrolet N200.

SAIC-GM-Wuling, a joint venture between GM China, SAIC and Wuling Motors, was launched in 2002. It is based in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. SAIC-GM-Wuling manufactures a range of Wuling brand mini-trucks and minivans as well as the Chevrolet Spark mini-car. In 2008, SAIC-GM-Wuling's domestic sales totaled 647,296 units, making it number one in sales among Chinese mini-vehicle producers for the third straight year.

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2 Responses to “SAIC-GM-Wuling Signs Agreements to Export Mini-Commercial Vehicles to South America, Middle East and North Africa”

  1. The Wuling N200 is known in China as the HongTu, and the N300 as the Rongguang. They are equipped with GM Daewoo’s new 16V DOHC B-series 4-cylinder engines, developed from the old Suzuki F-series block and now produced by SGMW to replace the older F-series engines produced by Wuling Motors. The N200 is offered with the 80 hp 1.15 L B11/LXA (a wider bore and shorter stroke than the F12 previously used in the Kalos), and the 84 hp 1.2 L B12/LAQ, while the larger N300 uses an 81 hp version of the B12 optimized for lower rpm operation.

    They are among the few modern engines produced in China capable of meeting the Euro4 emission standard, and versions capable of meeting the tougher US and Euro5 standards will soon be produced in Korea. SOHC versions of the Suzuki F-series are produced by several manufacturers in China, and while most now meet the Euro3 standard required for the domestic market, only Wuling Motors offers a Euro4 version as it seeks to increase outside sales.

    The N200 has few direct competitors outside China except the Indonesian Daihatsu Zebra (more familiar in Europe as the former HiJet), while the N300 most closely matches the Suzuki APV and Daihatsu Gran Max (Nissan’s new NV200 is substantially bigger). While both Chevrolet and Ford offered compact vans in this size class in the ’60s this segment has largely been abandoned in North America and Europe, and until recently even the Japanese market has been served only by the outdated Mazda Bongo (also sold by Nissan and Mitsubishi but now more than 20 years old). The success of European-style car-based LCVs has demonstrated the continued demand for small vans, and with the introduction of the Transit Connect in North America, other manufacturers can’t afford to ignore this market for much longer.

  2. The L200 and L300 are Mitsubishis. So far it appears only the N200 is being sold in export markets. Check out GM Colmotores and GM Egypt for more info. The N200 has a half-ton payload capacity (1235 lb/560 kg), a cargo volume of 111 cu-ft (3150 L) and a fuel economy of around 35 mpg.