510 (Baojun)

May 11, 2023

On May 10, Baojun, an SAIC-GM-Wuling sub-brand, unveiled the exterior images of the Yunduo, its first large 5-seater battery electric vehicle (BEV).
The Yunduo has delicate and atmospheric exterior styling, with simple and rounded lines and an elegant and lightsome body color. The vehicle will be equipped with a 100kW high-power motor, with a maximum speed of 150km/h. It measures 4,295mm long, 1,850mm wide, and 1,652mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,700mm.

From a Baojun press release

Nov 13, 2021

On November 5, the 2022 Chevrolet Groove officially went on sale in the brand’s dealerships across Mexico, with the launch now further highlighted through an alliance with Amazon Mexico, the e-commerce leader.
The 2022 Groove arrives on Amazon Mexico to enhance its commercial reach in the Mexican market and adapt to the shopping preferences of target customers, young people between 25 and 30 years old, who are the main drivers of electronic commerce.
GM’s collaboration with Amazon includes a set of special benefits for customers who purchase the Groove through the platform.
“We are excited about this collaboration with Amazon Mexico and we are confident that our customers will find value in this initiative,” said Director of Advertising and Promotions of GM Mexico, Karla Ortega.
Those who choose to purchase the new 2022 Chevy Groove through Amazon Mexico will receive a special two-tone roof, a USD 250 gift card, and a three-month Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.
The Chevrolet Groove is imported from China and based on the Baojun 510 built at the SAIC-GM-Wuling plant in Liuzhou, Guangxi.
(multiple sources on November 10, 2021)

Oct 18, 2021

In a previous blog, we examined how OEMs, especially those based in the US, are focused on products that suit the US market, while the preferences of consumers in other countries that have traditionally received similar models, such as Mexico, are side-lined. However, there is one country that is willing to supply vehicles to meet the needs of middle-income markets in Latin America, namely China.

Over recent months, we have seen further developments to confirm the trends that were already in motion. In August, GM announced the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Equinox, Spark and Beat in Mexico, while Chinese brand Changan will shortly arrive in the same market. Several South American countries, including Chile and Argentina, also feature a variety of Chinese-built models. Some 41 different China-sourced models have been sold in Argentina in 2021, while in Chile, the count is a staggering 91 separate models.

To be clear, there is no imminent prospect of Chinese OEMs coming to dominate markets in the Americas. With some notable exceptions, the models involved generate low volumes, and in some cases, the vehicles are manufactured in China, but are then rebadged under the auspices of Western brands. The new Dodge Journey, which is due to arrive in Mexican showrooms shortly, is known as the GAC GS5 in China, but is set to become Dodge’s bestselling vehicle in Mexico in the coming years. This is not a particularly novel idea; GM has pursued a similar strategy with the Chevrolet Captiva and the soon-to-be-released Groove, the rebadged versions of the Baojun 530 and 510, respectively.

Despite the fact that Cars are still a more popular choice than SUVs in most Latin American nations, many of the Chinese products being brought to the region are SUVs. Therefore, the distinguishing feature for these models is not necessarily the body type but the price. For example, MG – owned by the Chinese manufacturer SAIC – has seen great success in Chile with its ZS SUV, where it is set to be the bestselling Light Vehicle this year. The ZS starts at ₱10.89 million, excluding discounts (US$13,350), a price that undercuts those of many hatchbacks and sedans from Western OEMs (for instance, the Volkswagen Polo starts at ₱11.59 million before incentives). The Volkswagen T-Cross Small SUV, which resides in the same segment as the MG ZS, is around 32% more expensive than the Chinese model.

Of course, the picture is not uniform across Latin America. Countries with large automotive manufacturing industries, such as Brazil, will likely have a smaller Chinese influence for the time being, although even here, Chery is among the ten leading OEMs, thanks to its local production. Similarly, Great Wall recently announced its purchase of a former Daimler plant in Iracemápolis, Brazil, with production expected to start in 2023. Ford’s withdrawal from Brazilian production has provided further opportunities for other OEMs to fill the void, and although it is difficult to predict the specifics of which manufacturers will decide to launch in the region and when, we can be sure that Chinese OEMs will be alert to any openings.

(LMC Automotive blog on October 15, 2021)

 Parts Procurement Status