GM Utilizes China to Develop Low-Cost Electric Vehicles for the Global Market

In the past few weeks, there have been many reports in the US auto industry media that Chinese authorities are forcing GM to reveal its electric vehicle technology. The chip is to include Chevrolet Volt into the Chinese government’s list of new energy vehicle purchase subsidies. But such reports do not seem to be objective - General Motors Vice President Steve Girsky said that GM did not "receive any requests or requests from partners SAIC or the Chinese government regarding the intellectual property rights of electric vehicles."

In fact, VOLT is not a very suitable car for the Chinese market. Its price is too expensive. However, anyone who cares about GM’s China strategy knows that GM has already planned to introduce EV technology into the Chinese market. Although working closely with SAIC, GM decided to develop a new electric car in China. If GM is only to bring electric vehicle technology to China in order to obtain profits in the Chinese market, this view is too short-sighted. General strategy is to use China to develop low-cost electric vehicles for the global market.

Therefore, on September 20, GM and SAIC jointly announced that the two companies will cooperate in the development of a new electric car at the Pan Asia Automotive Technology Center. This news is not surprising. In fact, as early as during the Guangzhou Auto Show in 2010, the two companies had announced that they would cooperate to develop new energy models suitable for the Chinese market. This "fit for the Chinese market" actually means "lower prices" in some aspects.

General Motors Vice President Steve Girsky said that this Pan Asia-developed electric vehicle will be a brand new electric vehicle rather than a change from the current model. (I wonder if this sentence means a tragedy for the Sail electric car that was exhibited at the Guangzhou Auto Show last year)

According to the news released by General Motors, the electric vehicles developed by Pan Asia in the future are under the suspension of the GM brand and are also affiliated with the SAIC brand. This is not surprising. However, there is an intriguing statement in the press release: "In the future, both SAIC and GM will use the jointly developed new vehicle platform to launch more electric vehicles in more markets overseas. "So, in the future we are likely to see on the road to the United States. A Chinese-made electric vehicle that carries the GM brand logo, although these lower-priced electric vehicles, the main target market is still in developing countries.

The Chinese market has become one of the focal markets for general-purpose electrification strategies. In June last year, Pan Biar’s former director Ray Bierzynski was named executive director of GM’s electrification strategy in China. In fact, its responsibilities are not limited to the Chinese market but globally. In fact, GM’s "GM Advanced Technology Laboratory" in Shanghai also means that China plays a pivotal role in the GM's global electrification strategy, because the laboratory will be responsible for or participate in many areas of GM's global electric vehicle technology research. .

Returning to the media report in the opening chapter, I believe that the Chinese authorities are forcing GM to disclose its electric vehicle technology. Indeed, China is trying its best to establish some industrial policies and regulations so that foreign companies that want to produce electric vehicles in China will have to “share” some key technologies. Although I think this will be a wrong move, we must know that such policies are still in the "draft" phase and have not really begun to implement, and General Motors' Steve Girsky has made it clear that the Chinese government or partners have not Ask them to share the VOLT's technology.

GM plans to work with SAIC to develop new electric vehicles in China. What does this mean for other Chinese domestic auto manufacturers such as BYD who have been committed to the development of pure electric vehicles? An executive from a local Chinese company that already produces electric cars said he welcomes new competitors. "The cooperation between SAIC and GM in the development of electric vehicles will bring more confidence to this growing market," he said. "I like all green models, including those from competitors."

However, in fact, our discussion has always overlooked an important part - the electric vehicle market. Will Chinese consumers really buy electric cars? At least in the United States, consumers have not yet done so, do not know when Chinese consumers will start to favor electric vehicles?

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