Mini-vehicle giant SAIC-GM-Wuling to make sedans

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Shanghai, October 29, 2008: ( China's major mini-vehicle maker SAIC-GM-Wuling has decided to produce mid-class sedans of U.S. auto giant GM, reported Beijing Times today, citing sources of the company.

An insider has disclosed that SAIC-GM-Wuling Auto Co. Ltd. will introduce two platforms to its West Plant for producing sedans developed by General Motors. The GM sedan model has been delivered to the facility, but the name of the model is now kept in secret."

SAIC-GM-Wuling¡¯s general manager Shen Yang said that the joint venture will have an annual capacity of 900,000 vehicles to become one of the biggest automakers in China. SAIC-GM-Wuling is China's current No. 1 maker of mini vehicles. In the first nine months this year, the company's sales hit 490,000 units, gaining more than 45% mini-vehicle market share.

Currently, the three-partner venture has three facilities: West Plant and East Plant in Liuzhou of southwestern Chinese province of Guangxi, and Qingdao Plant in eastern province of Shandong. The second phase of West Plant was completed yesterday, and the three plants now have a capacity of 400,000 units, 200,000 units and 300,000 units respectively.

The insider said that SAIC-GM-Wuling has reserved a considerable part of the West Plant's capacity for the upcoming production of GM¡¯s mid-class sedans.

SAIC-GM-Wuling manufactures a range of Wuling brand mini-trucks and minivans as well as the Chevrolet Spark mini-car. In early August this year, GM announced that its SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture had begun exporting the Chevrolet N200 minivan from China to Peru.

SAIC-GM-Wuling was established in 2002, with GM China holding a 34% stake, SAIC 50.1% and Wuling Motors 15.9%. In 2007, the venture sold 548,945 vehicles, topping the sales among China's mini-vehicle producers for the second straight year.

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