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GM China venture opens US$263 Million Engine Plant

GM China venture opens US$263 Million Engine Plant
2007-7-2

GENERAL Motors Corp's Chinese minicar venture opened a 2 billion yuan (US$263 million) engine plant because of rising vehicle sales in the world's fastest-growing major auto market.

SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co, with a capacity of 300,000 engines a year, will start production in August, GM said in an e-mailed statement today. The factory in Liuzhou, southwestern China, will make 1.1-liter and 1.2-liter engines, it added.

GM, the largest US carmaker, has opened new plants in China, while closing factories at home, as it aims to raise annual sales in the country to 1 million vehicles by next year at the latest. SAIC-GM could raise its annual capacity to 700,000 vehicles from about 400,000, Kevin Wale, chairman of GM's China unit, said in April.

GM owns 34 percent of SAIC-GM, while Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp owns 50.1 percent and Wuling Motors holds 15.9 percent, according to the statement.

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp is the parent of China's largest carmaker SAIC Motor Corp.

Shanghai Daily News
 

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SAIC-GM-Wuling Mini-Car Sales Hit 300,000 in 2008 H1

SHANGHAI - August 1, 2007: SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co., Ltd, the leader in China's mini-car industry, sold over 300,000 mini-cars in the first half year, representing 43% of China's mini-car market, the company said in a recent report.

Earlier this year, the company announced its sales target of 520,000 units in 2007. It seems the company will meet its sales target without difficult this year.

The company's mini-car sales volume increased 23.3% in June compared to the corresponding month last year.


Wuling Motors logo

The 23% growth rate is an unusual phenomenon in car-making industry, according to some industry experts, especially when the growing China's mini-car industry witnessed a decline in the first half year.

The fast-growing sales record indicates the company's market is expanding and its products are becoming popular among Chinese car buyers, experts said.

About SAIC-GM-Wuling
In June 2002, GM China, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC) and Liuzhou Wuling Automotive Co., Ltd. (Wuling Automotive) signed an agreement for the formation of a three-way partnership. SAIC has a 50.1 percent stake, GM China a 34 percent stake and Wuling Automotive a 15.9 percent stake. SAIC-GM-Wuling is based in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in southwestern China.


Wuling Little Tornado

The joint venture covers an area of 892,000 square meters. Building on its strength as a low-cost, high-value manufacturer, SAIC-GM-Wuling has introduced advanced production processes such as GM's Global Manufacturing System and lean manufacturing to enhance efficiency and quality. In 2003, it received 3C national quality certification and in 2005 was named a AAA enterprise for its quality reputation.


Wuling Sunshine

SAIC-GM-Wuling builds and sells both commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles, including Wuling brand minivans, Wuling brand mini-trucks and the Chevrolet Spark mini-car. In 2005, SAIC-GM-Wuling manufactured 340,088 vehicles and sold 337,188 vehicles.



SAIC-GM-Wuling continues to expand to keep up with rising demand for its products. In June 2005, it signed an equity agreement to purchase a manufacturing facility in Qingdao, Shandong, and broke ground on a new engine plant in Liuzhou. SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co., Ltd. Qingdao Branch Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of SAIC-GM-Wuling and the company's first manufacturing facility outside its home base, began production of Wuling brand vehicles in the second half of 2005. SAIC-GM-Wuling's new engine plant is the joint venture's largest investment since its establishment. It is expected to be completed by 2007.
 

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GM eager for 15.9-pct additional stakes in Chinese minivan producer.

General Motors is in talks with local government to buy another 15.9 percent stake in its joint-venture SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW), Chinese newspaper 21 Century Economic Report said.

The report cited General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner as saying that the GM aims to make SGMW a global export hub of mini vehicles in the future. To reach this target, GM is negotiating with the provincial government of Guangxi Automobile Region on a stake purchase deal.

Founded in 2002, SAIC-GM-Wuling is based in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwestern China. SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp) holds 50.1 percent stakes of the company while General Motors holds 34 percent and provincial government of Guangxi holds the remaining 15.9 percent stakes.

The joint venture automaker produces Wuling brand minivans, Wuling brand mini-trucks and Chevrolet Spark mini-car.

In the beginning, SAIC-GM-Wuling suffered from low efficiency and was troubled by huge amounts of debt. But situation started to change for the better when the joint venture got support from provincial government and it soon became the biggest mini vehicle producer in China.

In the first ten months of this year, SGMW sold 480,000 vehicles, which represents 43 percent of mini-vehicles sales in Chinese market. In the same period, the company’s total revenue reached 14.4 billion yuan ($2.0 billion). The joint venture has set a target of selling 520,000 vehicles this year. Last year, the joint venture sold a total number of 460,155 vehicles.

On July 2 GM inaugurated a 2 billion yuan ($263 million) engine plant at SAIC-GM-Wuling. The plant will have a capacity to produce 300,000 1.1-liter and 1.2-liter units a year, which will first be equipped on a new minivan model called Wuling Hong Tu.





source: Gasgoo.com
 

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Brief introduction from their website:

SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co., Ltd, cooperated by three partners: Shanghai Automobile Industry (Group) Company, General Motors and Wuling Automobile Co., Ltd, was established on Nov.18th, 2002.

  SGMW covers 790,000 square meters with more than 4,000 employees. There are modern production workshops in East and West manufacturing plants: Press, Body, Paint and General Assembly. The commercial and passenger vehicles are two main products series for SGMW. In 2004, both of its production & sales volume broke through 235,000 units and production value is 7 billion RMB. It is forecasted that it will achieve 300,000units in 2005 when production capacity advancement project is completed in East plant.

  SGMW has the national-level Technical Development Center and PhD Scientific Research Base, implementing C3P (CAD/CAE/CAM/PDM) automobile development technology research projects. Currently, the company produces more than 200 models in five categories, including commercial vehicle, rear box mini-van, double ?cab pickup, single-cab pick-up and mini-passenger’s car. The new commercial vehicle “Wuling Sunshine”, developed by SGMW itself, becomes the leader in the same industry, under the requirement of GM global manufacturing standard. Beside the Wuling brand vehicle, SGMW also produce Chevrolet Spark .It is awarded as “the most beautiful mini-car in the world’ by introduction the most excellent global manufacturing experience and maintaining the operation mode of “high value and Low cost”, which ensures Spark’s global quality.

   Under the leadership of three shareholders, SGMW introduces advanced concept and management system to boost enterprise process flow restructure and integrate the resource inside and outside entirely, every administration level is upgraded greatly, Wuling value chain is established step by step with core competitiveness.

  Nowadays, all staff in SGMW serves “create value for customers” as a start point of work, striving for the goal of “ become the best company in the mini and small car industry in China and a strong competitor globally”
Wuling vehicle has 20-year history and enjoys the reputation of durability, good appearance, and high quality from customers. After 20 year’s development, we own a range of Wuling product, three of which are main series: single cab pick-up (RHD for option), double cab pick-up and mini-van.

  Since the first unit of Wuling vehicle was exported to Thailand in 1992, Wuling vehicle has spread to more than 30 countries and regions like Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America and West Europe. It is popular with oversea customers as well, which proves that quality drive life and quality develop market.

  After joint venture with General Motors in 2003, and with technical backing and resource leverage from GM, Wuling vehicle has emerged in the global competitive mini-car market. Its future is promising.
Official website:
http://www.sgmw.com.cn/english/company/about.jsp?catid=113


Wuling's product line consists of Chevrolet Spark and minivans: Newsunshine, Sunshine, 6360, PLN and PSN.

Spark:


Newsunshine:


Sunshine:
 

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SAIC-GM-Wuling grabs 43 percent of China’s mini-vehicle market.

January 17, 2008 – SAIC-GM-Wuling, a leading manufacturer of mini-vehicles, sold 552,788 vehicles in 2007, up 20 percent from one year earlier and the automaker plans to sell 620,000 mini-vehicles in 2008, senior company official said.

The three-way automaker has taken 43 percent of China’s mini-vehicle market by 2007, while it held only 37 percent of the market one year earlier, Shen Yang, general manager of SAIC-GM-Wuling told a dealership conference.

Prior to 2005, China’s mini-vehicle market was led by Changan Motor and followed by three challengers, SAIC-GM-Wuling, Hafei and Changhe.

SAIC-GM-Wuling builds and sells both commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles, including Wuling brand minivans, Wuling brand mini-trucks and the Chevrolet Spark mini-car.

SAIC-GM-Wuling was founded in June 2002 by GM China, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC) and Liuzhou Wuling Automotive Co., Ltd. (Wuling Automotive). SAIC has a 50.1 percent stake, GM China a 34 percent stake and Wuling Automotive a 15.9 percent stake. SAIC-GM-Wuling is based in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in southwestern China.
source: Gasgoo.com


Wuling LZW6370A




pickup
 

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GM is considering Wuling brand to produce Nano-fighting vehicle.

Just as Leftlane reported earlier this month, General Motors is seriously considering building a Tata Nano rival for developing markets. To produce such a small, inexpensive car, GM would increase its share hold in China's Wuling Automobile Co. — of which GM already owns 34%. Wuling currently sells vans and pickups for as little as $3,000 in developing regions.

GM vice chairman Bob Lutz says that if Wuling was to produce passenger cars, GM could uses those cars to go head-to-head with Tata's Nano. While GM is keeping tight-lipped about further investment in Wuling, Lutz indicated that it's not out of the question. "That's not impossible over time. It's nothing we'd want to talk about today," he said.

Lutz also said that GM has already allotted a budget for the development of a Nano-rivaling vehicle. "We move a legacy architecture and parts that have been around for a long time," he told Automotive News. "Then we create a vehicle that's very inexpensive, and it could not be sold in the developed world because it wouldn't meet regulations."

GM CEO Rick Wagoner also told Leftlane at the Detroit Auto Show that an older architecture would be the ideal candidate for an ultra low cost vehicle.

Lutz supported Wagoners claim that no such vehicle is headed for the U.S. market. He said there are already plenty of cars in the U.S. in the $2,500 price range, "they're called used cars."
source: Leftlane
 

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SAIC-GM-Wuling adds capacity.

March 31, 2008 - SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co. is adding new capacity in its hometown of Liuzhou. Besides a new production line, throughput is being increased in "all critical areas, from the body shop to the paint shop," says General Motors spokesman Henry Wong.

The joint venture is also building new manufacturing and engine plants in Qingdao in the northeast China province of Shandong. Previously, it had shipped vehicles from the Liuzhou plant for assembly in Qingdao.

The new capacity at both locations is scheduled to be up and running in the second quarter of 2008. At that time, the joint venture will have a total capacity of 876,000 units annually, including 586,000 in Liuzhou and 290,000 in Qingdao, says GM.

In 2006, the joint venture produced 295,883 vehicles, says Automotive Resources Asia, a unit of J.D. Power and Associates.

The new production lines will use many of the same designs and specifications as GM plants worldwide, says GM.

The joint venture produces Wuling-badged minivans and pickups, and the Chevrolet Spark small car. All three will be produced on the same line.

GM owns 34 percent of SAIC-GM-Wuling. Shanghai Automotive Co. owns 51 percent, and Wuling Automotive 15 percent.

GM wants to boost its share, but Shanghai Automotive is resisting any change in ownership structure, says a supplier to the joint venture.

In 2007, SAIC-GM-Wuling sold 548,945 units, including 32,510 Chevrolet Sparks.

The joint venture exported a few thousand vans to Southeast Asian countries in 2007. Nick Reilly, president of GM's Asia Pacific operations, does not rule out boosting exports in the future.

But, "at the moment, we just can't build capacity fast enough for the Chinese market," he says.

The United States is not a target for future exports from SAIC-GM-Wuling, says Reilly.

Says Reilly: "There is just not a demand (in the United States) for that kind of vehicle."
source: Automotive News China
 

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SAIC-GM-Wuling develops new van models for business customers.

April 09, 2008 - SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co. is developing at least three new van models with sizes much bigger than its current mini vans, and will launch sales of two before 2010, a source from the company says.

The move is aimed at meeting increasing domestic demand for cars designed for the use of families as well as small businesses, says John Zeng, a Shanghai-based market analyst for Global Insight. These cars are typically bigger than mini vans but smaller than seven-seat light buses, he adds.

Trial production of the first model, codenamed N300, is slated to start in SAIC-GM-Wuling's Qingdao plant in the middle of this year, the source says.

The source adds the car is a seven-seat van carrying 1.2- and 1.4-liter gasoline engines. The car is based on the platform of the Hongtu mini van but is longer and wider than the Hongtu. Its specifications are unknown.

The Hongtu, with a wheelbase of 2500 mm, was designed by Shanghai GM's r&d facility Pan-Asia Technical Automotive Center and was launched in early 2007.

Information from the Qingdao government indicates SAIC-GM-Wuling is now building new production lines in Qingdao for the N300, with annual capacity of 150,000 units under two shifts. Output is expected to reach full capacity in 2010.

The second and the biggest model, codenamed CN100, is another seven-seat van even bigger than the N300. Its shape is similar to that of Jianghuai Automobile Co.'s Refine van, the source says. Sales will start in the second half of 2009.

"CN100 will also carry 1.2- and 1.4-liter engines. It will be positioned as a business van and mainly target at business car demands from medium and small-sized enterprises," the source says.

The source adds SAIC-GM-Wuling will rely on low price and fuel economy for sales of the car, adding that the price will be about only 70,000 to 80,000 yuan ($9,919 to $11,336).

The source also says the company is planning a third van with codename V300, but the car will be smaller than CN100. No further details are available at present.

To reduce costs, all three new cars are being developed by SAIC-GM-Wuling itself, and the cars will carry Wuling's badge, the source adds.

SAIC-GM-Wuling is a joint venture between General Motors China, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. and Liuzhou Wuling Automotive Co. The company says it sold 552,788 vehicles in 2007.
source: Automotive News China
 

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GM China venture recalls 26,076 minibuses.

30.04.2008 - General Motors' commercial vehicle venture in China is recalling 26,076 minibuses in the country to fix potential problems with fuel sensors, China's quality watchdog said.

The Wuling-branded mini-buses were produced by SAIC-GM-Wuling between Aug. 9, 2007, and March 15, 2008, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said late on Tuesday.

It did not say whether any accidents or personal injuries were linked with the defect.

SAIC-GM-Wuling is a three-way tie-up among GM, China's largest car maker SAIC Motor and Liuzhou Wuling Automobile. The venture sold 548,945 vehicles last year, up 20.1 percent from a year earlier, according to GM figures.
Source: Reuters
 

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

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.

source: Gasgoo.com
 

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Old but very intersting article about Wuling at China car Times (contributor of the material was our member Erik)


You may think that Chinese clones of cars is a relatively new thing, with the rise of Chinese car markets, came the rise of automobile clones. In 1987 Liu Zhou Wuling motor company (now a maker of the Spark for GM and its own minivans) imported an 1985 Citroen Visa into China (picture below).


The goal? Complete copy and redesign for the Chinese market. Success? None. China Car Times doesnt ever recall seeing one on the roads, nor would he want to.


Wuling totally cloned the Visa, except for under the hood. The original Visa used a 4 cylinder engine, Wuling used a 3 cylinder Diahatsu engine (probably from Xia Li) Production runs were very small, with only 50 of the Visa clones being built in 1991, 1992 saw a slight production expansion of 510 cars, in 1993 production dropped to a measly 95 and in the final year, 1994, production hit 246.

The Wuling had a top speed of 130kph, and did a rather high 6.9l per 100km out of the 1000cc motor.


Wuling:




original article at:
http://www.citroenet.org.uk/foreign/china/wuling/wuling.html
 

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You must have missed my comments on Ashes article, Martin:

Comment by erik
2007-11-19 18:06:48
Hello Ash, not cloned, but assembled from real parts (nobody knows how these crates showed up in China). The engines were missing, so Wuling used the 3-cylinder Daihatsu engines, yes you are correct, from Xiali.
Later I went back to Liuzhou to make better pictures, and I used some as taxis. In noticed than that some parts were also locally been made, like the side windows. Erik


 
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