General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] is embarking on a bold new plan to grow sales in emerging markets. The plan calls for a new family of affordable but tech-rich vehicles based on a modular platform that GM will be developing with its Chinese partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. GM will also develop the engines for the vehicles with SAIC.

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The vehicles will replace several existing models in the GM portfolio, mostly from the Chevrolet brand, and by partnering with SAIC the American auto giant hopes to cut costs substantially as well as speed-up development times. The first examples should be available by the 2019 model year, though only in emerging markets. There are no plans to sell the cars in the United States and other established markets.

Production will take place in the key emerging markets of Brazil, China, India and Mexico. These markets are expected to see the most growth over the coming years. GM estimates that production numbers for the new vehicle family could reach as high as two million units annually.

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GM has earmarked approximately $5 billion for the project, which represents another important step in the automaker’s previously stated platform consolidation plan. The consolidation plan will see GM utilize just four core platforms for most markets by 2025.

“This new vehicle family will feature advanced customer-facing technologies focused on connectivity, safety and fuel efficiency delivered at a compelling value,” GM product chief Mark Reuss said in a statement. “It will be a combination of content and value not offered previously by any automaker in these markets that are poised for growth.”


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