WULING

 

A comprehensive history of early Wulings can be found in Volume 2 of On a Global Mission: The Automobiles of General Motors International

Wuling sold over one million units each year since 2009.  With a 44% interest in SAIC-GM-Wuling, General Motors regards Wuling as a GM marque, while in China it is an ‘independent’ brand, in 2019, as for sales volume, the fourth one, incl. commercial vehicles, (after Geely, Changan and Great Wall), and the ninth overall.  Wuling sold more than 5.5 million Zhiguangs thus far, 5 million RongGuangs/Chevrolet N300, and 5 million HongGuangs. 

In 2021 the Wuling brand sold 1.4 million units, of which 450,000 small pure electric vehicles.

While Wuling models are traditionally rear-wheel drive with a rigid rear axle, including the electric HongGuang MINI EV and Air, the late 2020 Victory however, which was intended as a Baojun, and the re-badged 730 and are front-wheel drive, as are the Wuling-branded Baojun models (Cortez and Almaz) in Indonesia.

This continued at the arrival of the Xingchen Asta and Nano EV in autumn 2021, and the 2022 Jiachen and 2023 Xingchi, which all are Baojun-based.

The Nano EV is actually a Baojun E200 with a new badge, signaling the demise of the Baojun brand.

Recent Wuling specifications can be found at On a Global Mission: The Automobiles of General Motors International

Wuling Zhiguang V  December 2016 - 2020                       

With the wheelbase 10 cm extended, this small microvan, about 4 meters long, with a rear rigid axle and leaf springs was for commercial use, and could be had with up to eight seats. 

Zhiguang sales dropped from 90,000 in 2017 to 80,000 in 2018, and 43,000 in 2019, after these had lowered with some 100,000 each year since in 2010 the 700,000 mark was neared, a number achieved in a similar upward move since sales started in 2003.  The Zhiguang outsold its competitors Jinbei Xiaohai Lion X30 and Dongfeng Xiaokang K07II in 2019, while the larger RongGuang S (60,000 in 2019) outsold the Zhiguang. 

Though the Sunshine name was mentioned in China at the start of its career, this name nowadays is only shown in publications in English, and is not familiar to the Chinese.  The Zhiguang V sold only marginally, as compared to the Zhiguang, and by 2020, no National 6b engines appeared, nor for the Zhiguang S and the extended Zhiguang, leaving the (3rd generation) 2013 model Zhiguang with 5 or 7 seats, as well as the pick-up models.  The speed limit for the Zhiguang and RongGuang S, equipped with the upgraded 1.2 56 kW national 6b engine, became 100 km/h (105 km/h for the extended RongGuang), while both RongGuang S and extended version are now available with electrical power steering.

The original (2008) RongGuang is still popular in South America as Chevrolet N300, and in Egypt as Chevrolet Move.

Liuzhou Wuling offers the RongGuang lwb based EV50 60 kW electric panel van with an advanced-looking front end since February 2020, with SGMW-Wuling RongGuang EV models to following in April, which sold 5,600 in 2021.

In 2021, 40,000 Zhiguang were sold (vs 110,000 RongGuang V).

Wuling HongGuang S3  (CN120S) November 2017 -

This 7-seater was presented as Wuling’s first SUV (but relocated as an MPV in March 2018), with the availability of an independent rear suspension with ESC on the top models.  On an 8 cm extended HongGuang chassis, it kept the classical longitudinally placed front engine with rear-wheel-drive.  In 2019, about one quarter (88,500) of HongGuangs were S3 models.  An automatic clutch model became available in March 2019, a Wuling novelty.  This was not the 5-speed Aisin version, used by Baojun for this 1485cc engine, but a Schaeffler-built 6-speed unit.  The only Wuling with a conventional automatic transmission has been the HongGuang S from August 2014 for about two years. 

The HongGuang S3 effectively replaced the HongGuang S1, which wasn’t a success.  Firmer footed, lower, but hardly wider than the HongGuang S, the higher price of the S1 had persuaded people to opt for the Baojun 730.  The S1 started being built as Wuling Confero in Indonesia in July 2017, to which the 6-speed electronic clutch unit was made available in spring 2019.  The price difference with the (second generation) Baojun 730 based Wuling Cortez was here larger than in China.  A more commercial Wuling Formo was added in November 2018, with the ex-Daewoo 1206cc engine.

In 2021, over 30,000 were sold, accounting for about 12% of the HongGuang MPV sales.

Wuling new HongGuang S  (CN115) August 2018 -

Still sold next to its predecessor (CN112), which it is now only offered with a 1.2 engine and leaf springs, this is the first rebodied basic HongGuang, itself dating from September 2010.  The rear axle is the rigid 5-link with coils, but a base model with rear leaf springs was added in March 2019.  GM Media reported: “In the process of product design and construction, the new Wuling HongGuang S changed the new MPV idea, brought the SUV feeling into the MPV, and continued to promote the advantages of family space, power, fuel consumption and other products.”

The first HongGuang S from August 2013, incorporating a Chevrolet-style chrome-plated bar, had elevated HongGuang sales to over 500,000, depressing Zhiguang/Sunshine sales under the half million mark, and keeping Wuling as the top car model seller in China for 15 years in a row from 2003 up to 2017 (10 years Zhiguang/Sunshine, 5 years HongGuang).  In 2019, with 375,000 units, total market HongGuang sales ranked third after the Volkswagen Lavida and Great Wall Haval H6, but it kept the first place among MPVs.

Following GM Media “the nameplate has been especially popular among small and intermediate enterprises, as well as private entrepreneurs, for personal and business use”.  About 6% of all HongGuangs in 2019 had the 1.2 engine.  Both ‘classic’ and new HongGuang S models are 7-seaters, but 5-seat and 8-seat configurations are possible.  A 60 kW electric EV version is in preparation.

The HongGuang S accounted for over half of the HongGuang MPV sales in 2021.

Wuling HongGuang V  (CN110V) March 2019 -

On a 13 cm longer wheelbase and with the 1485cc engine, this commercial-orientated model with sliding passenger door and a leaf spring rigid rear axle, is sold next to the cheaper RongGuang V, which is basically the same vehicle also in terms of inner and outer dimensions.  Originally, this new HongGuang V was meant to be sold as RongGuang V to succeed on it, itself launched in 2015 as a HongGuang V, to be renamed later that year to set it apart from the HongGuang MPV, with the original RongGuang and S basically a different smaller design. 

Both have a short front end, with the driveshaft to the rear wheels beneath the floor.  Some 160,000 RongGuang V were sold in 2019.  The new HongGuang V is a sturdy-looking 7-seater, but also available as a 2-seater or 5-seater, just as the RongGuang V, which has also an 8-seat option.  The side middle door of the HongGuang V has a width of over 700 mm, making it more convenient to load cargo and easier for passengers to get in and out.  It is known as Chevrolet N400 as a panel van or as a minibus, with in some markets the availability of the 1.2 engine, which in China came only by July 2020.

At 4000L, the maximum cargo volume of the HongGuang V is 300L less than that of the RongGuang V.

By August 2021, it arrived as Chevrolet Tornado Van in Mexico.

With 50,000 sold, the HongGuang V accounted for about 20% of the HongGuang MPV sales in 2021.

Wuling HongGuang Plus  (CN150M) October 2019 –

With the same wheelbase as the HongGuang S3, but over 10 cm wider, the HongGuang Plus looks more solid, without the wedge shape of the S3, which as a turbo has about the same price as the Plus.  The new car adopts “2”, "2 + 2 + 3" and "2 + 3 + 3" seat layouts, followed by a 2+3” 5-seater in December 2019.  The maximum cargo volume is more than 3 times as big as for the S3.  In November 2019, one HongGuang Plus was sold against each five HongGuang S.

The HongGuang plus is 5 cm lower than the HongGuang V, while the tailgate threshold height is 5 cm higher, and the maximum cargo volume is between that of the RongGuang V and the HongGuang V.  The rigid rear axle has leaf springs for the basic models, and coil springs for the others.  In May 2020, the non-turbo 1485cc engine became available, accompanying the 1451cc turbo.

In December 2020, top versions with ESC were added.  About 20,000 HongGuang Plus were sold in 2021.

Wuling EV50  July 2020 –

This is the first official Wuling electric vehicle, a long-wheelbase RongGuang Panel Van (first released in August 2011) with a 60 kW motor and a drive range of 252 or 300 km.  In October 2020, a 5-seater (Panel Van) model was added.

Wuling HongGuang MINI EV  (E50) July 2020 –   

This four-seater New Energy Wuling was announced in March 2020 with presale from May, resembling a "square box" Japanese (fwd) kei car, but much shorter and with two doors, and an upper hatchback.  The length is over 290 cm, the width under 150 cm, and the weight about 700 kg.  The power is 20 kW.  Depending on capacity, the NEDC battery life is corresponding to 170 km and 120 km. Charging time is about 7 to 9 hours.

The motor/E-axle is located at the rear and is mounted unsprung in front of the 3-link live axle on the left side.

The female-oriented Macaron (sweet meringue-based French confection in a variety of colors), launched in April 2021, introduced driver’s airbags (not obligatory in China) to the MINI EV and standard independently tilting of the rear seats (an option on other models since September 2020), and has the alloy wheels of the earlier models replaced by cute-shaped steel wheels. The Macaron is 4,800 yuan more expensive than the regular model, of which there is also a 4,000 yuan cheaper basic version without air conditioning and ESC. Technically, both lines are identical.

Raw Coconut White and Merlot Blue "autumn colors” were added in October 2021 to the existing Avocado Green, Lemon Yellow and White Peach Pink, all with a white roof.  An optional solid-color roof is available.

The Macaron Sandwich was introduced in November 2021 with five interior customization solutions, including white peach powder, butter yellow, lemon fruit green, raw coconut white and Merlot blue, at a 5,000 yuan higher price.

HongGuang MINI EV has sold more than 730,000 vehicles by June 2022.  The HongGuang MINI EV GAMEBOY with the 170 km range extended to 200 or 300 km, has a 7 cm extended wheelbase due to the larger 30 kW motor, and came in April 2022.  The sheet metal differs from the base model.  The new car has launched four themed vehicles: Hurricane Phantom, Jungle Adventure, Star Tours and Party Sweetheart.  Lime Soda and Cherry Blossom editions were added in September 2022.

At the April 2021 Shanghai Auto Show conference, Wuling announced that the 2-seater HongGuang MINIEV CABRIO will officially put into mass production in 2022.  This one is on the extended 201 cm wheelbase, using the paneling of the Gameboy and with the 30 kW motor, and is equipped with two roll bars behind the headrests.  It was launched on September 25, 2022, with a range of 280 km, and priced at 99,900 yuan, 3 times the base model. 

Wuling Victory  (CN220M) November 2020 –

Promoted as the 4+X "big four-seater family car", this 6-seater (2+2+2) MPV has the same underpinnings as the Baojun RC-6, lifting Wuling finally out of its rear-wheel-drive layout image.   The third-row seats can be independently and completely stored flush with the floor.  The two middle-row seats are equipped with a four-way slide, the front and rear sliding distance is as long as 56 cm.  The 1.5 turbo engine was mated to the new direct-injection 280T in February 2022.

The Victory uses the new silver Wuling logo, which represents Wuling's high-end and global products.  In 2021, sales were 63,000.

A hybrid version with a naturally aspirated Atkinson cycle 2-litre engine will be launched soon.

Wuling 730  December 2020 –

This is a Wuling-branded Baojun 730 Classic, EBA, ASR, ESP.  Online purchase started already in December 2019.  Some 2,000 were sold in 2021.

Wuling Zhengtu  March 2021 -

This is a double cab 5-seater pickup with a length of over 5 meters, sporty-styled without reminding of a minitruck.  The engine is the 1485cc LAR 73 kW.  It has a semi-integral body, and six leaf springs at each rear wheel.  Optional narrow or wide side steps are offered.  Zhengtu means Journey, as did the people mover Zhengcheng that was available from December 2014 till 2017. 

Wuling Zhengcheng  (CN150V) August 2021 -

Even longer than the Zhengtu, is the new Zhengcheng, with the body of the HongGuang Plus extended to 515 cm, on a 318 cm wheelbase and with sliding doors, and 7 (2+2+3), 8 (2+3+3) or 9-seat (2+2+2+3) layout, the latter with a 47 cm wide side corridor at the 2 center seat rows, next to a two-seat window-sealed version.  In 2021, 18,500 were sold.

A 100 kW pure electric model is expected.

Wuling Xingchen (Asta)  (730S) September 2021 -

This first Wuling SUV is technically based on the (front-wheel-drive) Baojun 530/560 but with the availability of 18-inch wheels.  The transmission is a 6-speed manual or CVT gearbox.  The car was officially unveiled at the April 2021 Shanghai International Auto Show and went on sale in September.  This is the second model with the silver Wuling logo.  In 2021, 54,500 were sold.

By August 2022, a hybrid model arrived with a 100 kW 2-litre Atkinson engine, and independent rear suspension for the top model.  The electric drive motor generates 130 kW and 320 Nm.  This hybrid system can drive in pure electric mode, series (engine generates power, motor drives wheels), and parallel (engine and motor work at the same time) according to the working conditions of the vehicle.

Wuling Nano EV  November 2021 -

This is a 24 kW (less 5 kW) front-wheel-drive Baojun E200 clone with richer colors and paintings.  Base price of the “Free Two Go” “Couple Car” Nano EV is 58,800 yuan (without ESC), vs 28,800 yuan for the HongGuang MINI EV.  The battery life is 305 km.

The limited (5,000 units) version of the Nano EV [Crazy Animal City with Zootopia’s Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps for 59,800 yuan] was jointly launched by Wuling and Disney at the 2021 Tianjin Auto Show, which opened on September 29.  Other limited edition models will be the bilibili (Station B) and Xiaowu Xiaoling (cartoon image).

In February 2022 the 29 kW motor became available as well, after which the Baojun E200 was deleted in March.

Wuling Jiachen  (730M) June 2022 –

The first 7-seat household MPV under the SAIC-GM-Wuling silver-label brand, was launched on June 15.  This Wuling Jiachen on a 1 cm lengthened Xiacheng wheelbase, adopts a 2+2+3 seat layout.  The middle row of seats can be moved forward and backward by 120mm, and the backrest can be folded back to 150 degrees.  The starting price of the 1485cc model is 68,800 yuan vs 69,800 yuan for the Xingchen 1.5 turbo, while the price of the Jiachen 1.5 turbo starts with 81,800 yuan.

Wuling Air ev  Indonesia: September 2022 -

Empowered by the Global Small Electric Vehicle (GSEV) platform, the Wuling Air ev made its global debut in Jakarta, Indonesia on June 1, 2022, to be CKD-built in right-hand drive, with the international market in mind.  The car will be sold in India, Egypt and more countries around the world in the future.  300 units will support the mobility needs during the G20 Summit to be held next November in Bali.  It is the first EV model that SGMW sells outside of China.  The 4-seater is on the 2010 mm platform of the HongGuang Mini EV Gameboy, and available ranges are 200 or 300 km. 

In China, the 2-seater 30 kW model will be on a 1635 mm wheelbase and have a 818 kg curb weight, while the 4-seater on the 2010 mm wheelbase will additionally be available with a 50 kW motor.  Sales in China will start in the second half of 2022.

Wuling Xingchi  September 2022 -

This new SUV actually succeeds on the Baojun RS-3, adopting its underpinnings and 1.5 or 1.5 turbo engine.  Prices start at 56,800 yuan vs 69,800 for the RS-3.

 

GSEV (Global Small Electric Vehicle) platform

As of August 2022, cumulative sales of SGMW cars on the GSEV (Global Small Electric Vehicle) platform ) have exceeded one million units, since it introduced its first electric model in 2017.  In the first half of 2022, 92% were Wuling HongGuang MINI EV (20 or 30 kW, rear-mounted motor, live axle; prices from 32,800 yuan), 1% were Wuling Nano EV (24 or 29 kW, 2-seater, motor in front, front-wheel-drive; prices from 56,800 yuan), and 7% were Baojun KiWi EV (40 or 50 kW, rear-mounted motor, double wishbones; prices from 87,800 yuan.  The 2-seater 30 kW and 4-seater 30 or 50 kW Wuling Air EV with rear-mounted motor and live axle is on the way.

 

SAIC-GM-Wuling

In 2021, SAIC-GM-Wuling sold 1,660,166 units in the domestic market  As early as 2015, SAIC-GM-Wuling became the first car company in China with an annual production and sales volume of over 2 million units. The sales volume has exceeded 2 million units for four consecutive years.

The SAIC-GM-Wuling Indonesia subsidiary was officially put into operation in 2017. It is not only the first Chinese auto company to invest in Indonesia, but also the first time that a Chinese auto brand has invested in equipment and resources overseas to build its own brands and products.  In 2021, 25,650 vehicles were sold.

 

Linxys

Guangxi Automobile Group, established in May 2015, and previously known as Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co., Ltd., together with Liuzhou Wuling Automobile Industry, where Guangxi Automobile holds 39% of the shares, run Linxys, an MPV project of Wuling only without any direct connection to SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW).

 

Japan

On September 4, 2022, according to Guangxi Automobile Group, Wuling New Energy and Japan ASF Co., Ltd. held the mass production contract signing ceremony of the G050 microvan project.  The Japanese side pays the research and development expenses and entrusts Wuling New Energy with the joint manufacture and promotion of Guangxi new energy vehicles to enter the Japanese market for the first time.  It is expected to be mass-produced and launched by the end of April 2023, and is heading towards the goal of 100,000 vehicles in five years.

So, after Wuling started copying the Mitsubishi Minicab Kei microvan 40 years earlier, it will now sell its own electric Kei microvan in Japan.

 

With thanks to: https://www.chinacarforums.com/

 

                                                                   

Far East Auto Literature

29 September, 2022