Why is it important? - GM-SAIC-Wuling reaches one million sales in 2012
Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!
There are countless numbers of Chinese automobile brands and although majority of them are copycats, there are handful of marquees that can’t be discounted.
[Left - Wuling Honguang is the Chevrolet Enjoy; Right - Wuling HongTu (N200) is GM India's Maruti Eeco slayer in 2013]
SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) is first of them.
The SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture has sold one million vehicles in the year 2012 and they have achieved this milestone faster than they did in the previous year. That is a 15.2% growth at an average of 3,500 vehicles per day!
The Chevrolet Sail is the second bestselling vehicle in China and Wuling, the mini commercial vehicle brand sold 9,34,000 units this year and has a market share of 50% in its segment.
SAIC may not use its brand name in India, but the Chinese brand owns the controlling stake (51%) in GM’s Indian entity and that’s the reason we are going to get the SAIC products with bowtie badges.
The Sail twins were developed by SAIC and as we know, the upcoming Chevrolet Enjoy MPV is a rebadged Wuling van. Also, another rebadged Wuling mini-van, called as N200 in China, is under consideration to target the Maruti Eeco next year with a diesel engine.
Clearly SAIC is at the helm of affairs at GM India and we won’t be surprised if more and more rebadged Chinese cars start roaming in India, introducing themselves as Chevrolet!