GM Will Begin Offering Full Sized SUVs in China

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

General Motors intends to start selling its full-size SUVs in China and is currently showcasing the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, and GMC Yukon Denali at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. That means these vehicles will be imported rather than being manufactured in-country as part of their government-mandated partnerships with Chinese automotive firms.

Why would GM do this in a nation that’s supposed to be prioritizing hyper-efficient electric vehicles? Well, China is currently the world’s largest car market and is on track to be the only major economy on Earth that will grow during the pandemic the yuan has already hit a 28-month high against the dollar after the U.S. presidential election started skewing in favor of Joe Biden. Meanwhile, General Motors happens to be one of the region’s largest automakers and competition is stiffing between it and the likes of Volkswagen, Geely, Honda, and Toyota.

The plan introduces the Chinese market to GMC products for the first time but that may be short-lived as the SUVs are being imported to give the nation a taste of its XXL collection. According to Reuters, GM’s China chief Julian Blissett explained the company’s “intention is to get customer reaction and find a way to sell these cars in China.”

Afterward, the automaker may seek ways to manufacturer the models inside of China via its joint partnerships. But GM needs to test the market response before it gets to that point. “We are looking into a variety of market sales plans for these vehicles, including online sales, leasing, and others,” he said.

From Reuters:

The imports will, however, not change GM’s basic production strategy in China. It will still mostly sell vehicles made in China for now, at least.

“Depending on however we go we might make other decisions,” Blissett said.

GM has a Shanghai-based joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp. making Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles. It has another venture, SGMW, with SAIC and Guangxi Automobile Group, producing no-frills minivans and which has started manufacturing higher-end cars.

Blissett said GM expected “a strong November and December” in China after positive October sales. The automaker is also considering exporting China-made electric vehicles globally, he told Reuters.

[Image: General Motors]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Union fees and corruption. What can go wrong?
  • Lou_BC How about one of those 2 foot wide horizontal speedometers out of the late 60's Ford Galaxie?
  • Lou_BC Was he at GM for 47 years or an engineer for 47 years?
  • Ajla The VW vote that was held today heavily favored unionization (75/25). That's a very large victory for the UAW considering such a vote has failed two other times this decade at that plant.
  • The Oracle Just advertise ICE vehicles by range instead of MPG and let the market decide.
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