General Motors and China flags fly at the automaker's Shanghai headquarters.
Photograph by Peter Parks — AFP/Getty Images
By Kia Kokalitcheva
March 21, 2016

Despite an economic slowdown in China, General Motors is plotting a big push there over the next few years.

On Monday, the automaker detailed its goals at a press briefing in Beijing, including plans to introduce 60 new models in the Chinese market in the next five years, according to the Wall Street Journal. GM expects China’s car market to grow 3% to 5% per year until 2020, compared with its 4.7% growth last year, 7% growth in 2014, and double-digit jump in the years prior.

A stock market plunge in the first two months of this year extended an ongoing trend: In 2015, China grew at its slowest pace, as the Journal notes. However, GM (GM) isn’t deterred and is focusing on the growing demand for luxury cars there. In 2015, Chinese sales of sport-utility vehicles and crossovers increased 52% from the previous year, and luxury car sales went up by 10%, according to the report, citing data from PWC’s consulting group.

For that reason, about 40% of GM’s new and updated models in China in the next five years will be SUVs and high-end minivans, the Journal reports. The automaker will introduce 10 new updated Cadillac models in China, and by 2020, all of its Cadillac, Buick, and Chevrolet models in the country will offer Internet connectivity.

GM will also add more automated safety features such as lane-drift alerts, blind-spot detection, and partially autonomous driving technology for hands-free driving on highways and in heavy traffic, company executives added. It’s also exploring car-sharing models.

 

In the last few months, GM has been investing heavily in autonomous driving tech, including a $500 million stake in ride-hailing company Lyft with the aim of someday injecting its driverless cars into its network. Earlier this month, GM also acquired Cruise, a startup developing an aftermarket autonomous driving system, for a reported $1 billion.

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