General Motors, the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world, announced on Tuesday it would spend $5 billion over the upcoming years to jointly develop with its Chinese partner SAIC a new family of models for the Chevrolet brand.
The bet on the run of the mill brand covers a new family of models that will be directly targeted at the rapid rising emerging markets – a development process that also puts another argument behind the company’s rejection of the merger offer from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. For the first time, GM will research and develop a completely new, global lineup of vehicles in partnership with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, the state-owned Chinese carmaker that acts as the main partner for the company in China, the world’s biggest auto market. “We are taking significant advantage of the global scale we do have,” commented GM President Dan Ammann in a briefing. He was also ready to embark on a trip to Brazil, where the company is expected to make announcements this week related to the Brazil and India investments that will tie into the newly announced project.
GM and SAIC will collaborate to build new Chevrolet compact cars and sport utility vehicles that should reach world dealerships after 2019 and only target growth markets outside of the United States and Europe. The key targets envisioned are India, China, Brazil and Mexico. The GM spending will make up GM’s research and development effort, as well as the cost of retooling plants. The massive-scale, small-vehicle project with SAIC is served as an example of chief executive officer’s Barra strategy to refocus GM by emphasizing consolidation across its global vehicle and engine programs across its fragmented global units.