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 2018, as for sales volume, the second one, incl. commercial vehicles, (after Geely), and the seventh overall (after Buick).  Wuling sold 5.36 million Zhiguangs thus far (June 2019), 4.81 million RongGuangs/N300, and 4.27 million HongGuangs.

All contemporary Wuling models have rear-wheel-drive.  Recent Wuling specifications can be found at On a Global Mission: The Automobiles of General Motors International

Wuling Zhiguang V  December 2016 -                       

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, 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  The Zhiguang was still number one in the microvan class in the first half of 2019, but was then superseded by the RongGuang S.  Though the Sunshine name was mentioned in China at the start of its career, this name nowadays is only shown in publications in English,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 not familiar to the Chinese.  The Zhiguang V sold only marginally, as compared to the Zhiguang S.

The larger RongGuang S is currently selling about 70,000 per year in China, while the original (2008) RongGuang is still popular in South America as Chevrolet N300, and in Egypt as Chevrolet Move.

Wuling HongGuang S3  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 2018, about one third (140,000) 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.

Wuling new HongGuang S  August 2018 -

Succeeding on its predecessor, to which it is technically identical, and with roughly the same dimensions, this is the first rebodied basic HongGuang, itself dating from September 2010.  The rear axle was 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).  However, when regarding the HongGuang S3 as a separate model, the Great Wall Haval H6 SUV with independent rear suspension, and available four-wheel-drive, was the best seller in 2017.  The Nissan Sylphy topped the charts in 2018.  

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 a quarter of the HongGuang S in 2018 had the 1.2 engine.  It is a 7-seater, but 5-seat and 8-seat configurations are possible.

Wuling HongGuang V  March 2019 -

On a 13 cm extended chassis, this commercial-orientated model with sliding passenger door and a leaf spring rigid rear axle, is sold next to the RongGuang V, that started as HongGuang V, but was renamed late in its introduction year 2015, though the RongGuang was basically a different smaller design.  Some 130,000 RongGuang V were sold in 2018.  The early HomgGuang V took about a quarter of total HongGuang sales in 2015.   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.

Wuling HongGuang Plus  2019 –

With the same wheelbase as the HongGuang S3, but over 10 cm wider, the upcoming HongGuang Plus looks more solid, losing the wedge shape of the previous model.  It certainly is needed as in the first half of 2019, the HongGuang was outsold by the Volkswagen Lavida, Nissan Sylphy and Great Wall Haval H6, while others are nearing.

 

SAIC-GM-Wuling

In 2018, SAIC-GM-Wuling sold 2,060,007 units in the domestic market, ranking second in the domestic car sales list.  If 17,000 units of its Indonesian subsidiary are added, the total annual sales volume could reach 2.077 million units, ranking first among domestic single-car companies.  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.

 

 

 

 

                                                                   

Far East Auto Literature

20 September, 2019