China: GM shifts strategy to cater for larger family cars demand image

The central government in Beijing is almost ready to relax its long running one-child policy, and automakers in the country are swiftly moving to take advantage of the rising demand for bigger family cars.

The No.1 US automaker – for many years the best selling foreign brand in the worlds’ largest auto market – is addressing the trend by changing its distribution network to allow for increased sales of its local Baojun family line-up.

“In general, as incomes rise and as the one-child policy has been relaxed, the trend is going to be toward more passenger-like characteristics, more refinement, more multi-purpose and more family-oriented functional vehicles and that’s the direction we want to go,” said Ray Bierzynski, a local GM executive.

GM and local Chinese partner SAIC – the country’s largest automaker – are now moving to partly unify the sales network of two China specific brands, the 30-year-old “workhorse” minivan brand “Wuling” and the more recent passenger car brand “Baojun”.

The automaker wants to create some “dual-brand stores”, where buyers could see together both brands’ models. The change also acts as a response to the market’s trend towards family-sized multipurpose vehicles, which jumped 55% in the first half of the year.

Via Reuters