SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile, General Motors’ light-vehicle joint venture, plans a nine-seat passenger vehicle after the Chinese government decided last month to allow married couples to have up to three children.
The vehicle will feature two sliding side doors and a 2+2+2+3 seating layout to ensure it is “comfortable to ride” and “convenient to get on and off” by large families, the company said on its social media accounts.
It will arrive “soon” under the Wuling brand, GM added, without revealing additional details about the vehicle.
Beijing announced the relaxed birth control policy on May 31 after the latest national census shows China population continues to age rapidly.
In the late 1970s, the Chinese government implemented the one-child policy. In 2016, it loosened the rule to permit a couple to have two children.
Due to decades-long strict birth controls and rapid urbanization, people aged 60 and above accounted for 18.7 percent of China’s population in 2020, up 5.4 percentage points from 2010.
SAIC-GM-Wuling, based in the southwest China city of Liuzhou, is a three-way joint venture between GM and two state-owned Chinese automakers – SAIC Motor Corp. and Guangxi Automobile Group Co.
It mainly builds minibuses for the Wuling brand and entry-level cars for the Baojun marque.
Behind a strong rebound in the first quarter compared with the same coronavirus-stricken period a year earlier, along with demand for a new pickup and micro electric-vehicle models, deliveries at SAIC-GM-Wuling surged 40 percent to 568,331 in the first five months, according to SAIC, a Shanghai-listed company.
In 2020, sales at the company dipped 3.6 percent to roughly 1.6 million.