In July 2010, GM, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and Wuling had tied up to form a new low-cost brand called Baojun. The alliance was to launch their first sedan Baojun 630 in China sometime this year. However, according to AutoBild magazine, GM might just launch the 630 sedan in India as well.
If this news turns out to be true, the Baojun 630 will lock horns with the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and Toyota Etios, which are the top-selling cars in the Rs. 7 lakh sedan segment. Considering SAIC holds a 50 percent stake in GM India, there is a strong possibility that SAIC will bring its products (including the 630 sedan) to India under the Chevrolet brand or an all-new brand with the help of GM India. Related: Baojun 630 sedan to launch in China and possibly India
Baojun 630 sedan – Styling and engine
The 630 model is a fusion of Korean, American and Chinese design and engineering. The sedan, which stands on a Korean car platform, has a body designed in China with inputs from GM while the engine is developed by SAIC’s UK R&D centre. This is why the Baojun 630 will bear a typically non-Chinese look.
The 630 measures 4,595 mm in length and 1,795 mm in width – much larger than the Mahindra Logan, Swift Dzire and Toyota Etios. Looked at from the front, the Baojun 630 has a thick chrome strip bordering the grille from all sides except the top. The prominent headlamps are similar to the Maruti SX4’s, especially when looked at from the sides. The side profiles have proportions similar to that of the Chevrolet Cruze. The rear of the 630 sedan has a slight bulge on the top of the boot lid (similar to the Dzire’s boot) and the wraparound tail lamps. Related: Upcoming cars from GM India
The interior is simple yet elegant, with a clean dashboard and central console layout. The in-dash display is quite large and comes with satellite navigation though the Indian spec will most likely skip this feature. The three-spoke steering wheel of the 630 sedan is as large as the Logan’s. The sedan will seat 5 adults comfortably and will have a boot space of roughly 500 litres.
The Baojun 630 will be powered by a 1.5-litre Roewe engine that will put out 105 bhp of maximum power and 135 Nm of maximum torque. Roewe is owned by SAIC and Volkswagen is another of SAIC’s partners. The Roewe engine is expected to meet local as well as global (Euro IV) emission standards.
630 sedan – what it means in Indian market?
GM India is yet to decide whether the 630 sedan will be launched under a new brand or be sold under the Chevrolet umbrella. With the Aveo and Optra not really selling in large enough numbers, the 630 sedan may just be the car GM needs to lift its fortunes. Related: GM-SAIC LCV and mid-sized car for India
Though speculations suggest that the 630 sedan will be positioned against the Toyota Etios and Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, the car’s dimensions and interior quality definitely makes the car look a segment above. Hence, expect the Baojun 630 to be pitted against the Toyota Corolla Altis, Honda City and Fiat Linea. However, all of this entirely depends on the price and engine variants the India-bound 630 sedan will sport. Watch this space for more updates!