SAIC-GM-Wuling Engine Plant Starts Operation
Leverages GM Powertrain Expertise
Liuzhou, China - SAIC-GM-Wuling, GM’s mini-vehicle joint venture in southwestern China, began production today at its new engine plant. The RMB 2 billion facility represents the largest new investment in the five-year history of SAIC-GM-Wuling.
Situated at the joint venture’s main production base in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the engine plant has an annual capacity of 300,000 engines. “It will enable SAIC-GM-Wuling to keep up with rising demand for our existing lineup of products. At the same time, it will shorten the development time for new models,” said Thomas Drumgoole, Vice President and CFO of SAIC-GM-Wuling.
The engine plant utilizes much of the same technology, many of the same processes and the same design specifications as other GM engine plants around the world. Manufacturing procedures and production lines are based on global GM Powertrain standards.
SAIC-GM-Wuling is initially manufacturing a 1.2-liter double overhead cam gasoline engine that will power its new Wuling Hong Tu minivan. “Like the plant itself, the engine was developed for SAIC-GM-Wuling leveraging GM Powertrain expertise,” Drumgoole explained. “It sets a new benchmark for advanced engines with high power and small displacement by offering better fuel economy, power and peak torque while generating lower emissions.”
The engine achieves 20 percent better fuel economy than some similar engines being produced in China. It complies with the advanced Euro III, Euro IV and Euro V emission standards as well as all domestic emission standards. Powered by the engine, the Wuling Hong Tu generates maximum power of 52.2 kW per liter and maximum torque of 108 Nm/4,000 rpm.
“The new engine plant demonstrates the strong partnership between GM China, SAIC and Wuling Motors,” said GM China Group President and Managing Director Kevin Wale. “It is part of our collective commitment to the long-term success of SAIC-GM-Wuling.”
SAIC-GM-Wuling was founded in 2002. GM China owns 34.0 percent, SAIC owns 50.1 percent and Wuling Motors owns 15.9 percent. The joint venture manufactures a range of Wuling brand mini-trucks and minivans as well as the Chevrolet Spark mini-car at its facilities in Liuzhou and Qingdao, Shandong. In 2006, SAIC-GM-Wuling sold 460,155 vehicles, making it the sales leader among domestic mini-vehicle producers. It maintained its leadership in the first half of 2007, with sales rising 20.7 percent on an annual basis to 301,880 units.
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