Mumbai: General Motors Corp. and its Shanghai General Motors joint venture today signed a multi-year agreement worth more than $800 million to export US-built Buick Enclave premium crossover sport utility vehicles along with other vehicles and components to China, beginning in 2008.
The agreement was signed in the presence of China's assistant Vice Minister of Commerce Chen Jian, Chinese embassy officials, US Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Israel Hernandez, GM Vice President of Global Sales, Service and Marketing Operations, John Middlebrook, and Shanghai GM Executive Vice President, Robert Socia.
The all-new Buick Enclave is built at GM's Lansing Delta Township assembly plant in Lansing, Michigan. Enclave is one of GM's most sought-after vehicles in North America because of its stylish, modern design and high level of standard features. Introduced earlier this year, the Enclave has received enthusiastic reviews, and has helped lead General Motors' recent sales increase in its home market.
According to Shanghai GM President Ding Lei, "Shanghai GM has become a leader in the production and sale of passenger cars in China, driven largely by the success of the Buick brand. These new Buick premium sport utility vehicles will strengthen our lineup and enable us to continue to meet the changing needs of our growing base of customers."
The Buick agreement is the second of two China export agreements signed by GM this year. In May, GM signed a deal to export $700 million worth of Cadillacs and automotive components to China from the United States. GM's China operations have already imported about $3.5 billion worth of vehicles, components, equipment, and machinery from North America over the past 10 years.
"We appreciate the support that we received from the Chinese and the US governments for this programme, which will benefit both countries," said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director, GM China Group. "It will take the value of GM sourcing contracts from the United States for the China market to more than $1.5 billion this year."
Assistant Vice Minister of Commerce, Chen Jian added, "The efforts of General Motors and its Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC), to promote healthy and stable Sino-US trade relations is very much appreciated. The Chinese government will continue to work with the US government and enterprises to create a better market environment, ensure a smooth channel for US companies' business development, and actively promote American exports to China for more balanced trade."
The Enclave will be imported by Shanghai GM and sold through its network of nearly 400 Buick dealerships across China. The new model will complement the rest of Shanghai GM's popular Buick line-up, which includes the Park Avenue and LaCrosse premium sedans, Regal upper-medium sedan, Excelle family, and GL8 and FirstLand executive wagons.
GM operates seven joint ventures and two wholly owned foreign enterprises, and has more than 20,000 employees in China. GM, along with its joint ventures, offers the broadest line-up of vehicles and brands among automakers in China. Products are sold under the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Opel, Saab and Wuling nameplates. In 2006, sales of vehicles by GM and its joint ventures rose 31.8 percent on an annual basis to a record 876,747 units.
General Motors Corp.the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 280,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries.
In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.