General Motors Plans to Launch Over 20 New Vehicles in China This Year

The American automaker will also invest heavily in new energy vehicles (NEVs).

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General Motors announced on Monday that it plans to introduce over 20 new and refreshed vehicle models in China in 2019, which means it's on track to exceed its 2016 launch plans through 2020. The automaker also confirmed that the automaker will continue to invest in new energy vehicles (NEVs).

China became GM’s largest retail sales market in 2012 and has become a fertile opportunity for the automaker’s venture into vehicle-to-everything (V2X), self-driving, and NEV technology in general. Matt Tsien, GM executive vice president and president of GM China strongly considers the region as a fertile, emerging market to grow and innovate in.

“China’s vehicle market has entered a new era of high-quality development, in which product and service excellence will be the key to sustained growth,” said Tsien. “GM will continue to optimize our product mix, backed by our industry-leading technologies and adjacent services, and explore more opportunities in electrification and autonomous driving.”

The automaker’s five-year plan to launch 60 new or refreshed vehicles (including 10 NEVs) between 2016 and 2020 is reportedly well on track, as the company now aims to double its domestic NEV availability from 2021 through 2023. Motivating data to do so likely included the 124 electric miles driven by GM’s NEV customers in China last year, pointing toward regional acceptance of electric vehicles and a participating customer base.

The Drive recently tested Cadillac’s Super Cruise technology, which uses an array of radar, cameras, and sensors to control steering, acceleration, and braking while the driver remains hands-free. Alongside GM’s stated aim of a world with “zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion,” this enthusiastic push into the Chinese market is certainly just as rooted in a desire to expand, as it is an opportunity to develop and refine technologies such as this. 

Cadillac sold 200,000 vehicles for the first time in China last year, an increase of 17.2 percent year over year. Chevrolet delivered 523,395 vehicles, with sales of the Equinox global SUV increasing by over 50 percent. Buick sold over 1 million vehicles for the third year in a row, celebrating its 10 millionth unit sold in China since the brand’s launch there in 1998. Regional partners Baojun and Wuling had sales of 839,612 and over 1 million vehicles, respectively. 

GM recently surpassed the 200,000 electric vehicle mark, being only the second automaker to achieve this, second to Tesla. GM is also planning on using its Cruise Automation technology to deliver food using self-driving Chevys in San Francisco in March. With the GM umbrella strongly focused on utilizing its brands and technologies to expand and innovate, the automaker’s strategic push in China could well lead to refined vehicle technologies and a wider customer base.