US car-maker General Morors has launched a joint venture to produce a new minivan for the Chinese market, Reuters reported. The venture with SAIC-Wuling is GM's third joint venture in China. It has already started introducing the seven-seater Wuling Sunshine, based on a Wuling chassis with technology from GM's other Chinese ventures. The model is expected to sell for Yn40,000- Yn50,000 and will be targeted at second- and third-tier cities.
The China subsidiary of GM has also confirmed that it is in talks with Yantai Bodyworks and other potential partners. However, the company declined to comment on a claim by the mayor of Yantai, in Shandong province, that a proposed joint venture between GM and Yantai would make Buick Sail sedans, saying that the talks were merely part of its ongoing exploration of business opportunities in China.
Yantai Bodyworks, owned by the Shandong provincial government, makes cars using technology from bankrupt South Korean car-maker, Daewoo. GM agreed in April to form a joint venture, to be called GM Daewoo, which would use Daewoo assets. Its chief executive said the company was in talks with Shang Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), with which it already has a manufacturing joint venture, about selling Daewoo cars in China, and possibly assembling the Lacetti model there as well. SAIC has taken a 10 per cent stake in GM Daewoo and earlier this year announced that it was in talks with the Shandong provincial government about co-operating with Yantai Bodyworks.