American giant General Motors got movie star Jackie Chan to unveil their latest offering at the Shanghai Auto Show on Tuesday.
The actor appeared at the 17th Auto Shanghai during GM’s global launch of the Buick Velite 5 plug-in hybrid. Buick has modest sales elsewhere but is GM’s main brand in China, where GM operates in a joint venture with state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp (SAIC).
GM said the Velite 5 will be the most energy-efficient hybrid in Chinese market and will go up to 116 km on one charge. Top it up with petrol and one can go up to 768 km, the company said.
Velite 5 will go 100 km on the equivalent of less than 1 litre of gasoline, GM said.
The GM-SAIC joint venture will make the Velite 5 hybrid in China, whose prices will start at $38,600.
“Buick is committed to expanding its portfolio of new energy vehicles,” said a GM statement. “It will introduce additional new energy vehicles in China in the next two years, including hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and pure electric vehicles.”
GM is also offering a $5,233 discount to Chinese buyers on its the Velite hybrid car when it goes on sale in the country later this year. The discount will be the new energy vehicle discount that customers of electric and hybrid cars get in China.
The Shanghai Auto Show, which opens for the public on Friday, is seeing electric and hybrid cars from all the participants from all over the world. If not production ready, automakers are showing concept electrics and hybrids to match with the tech-savvy Chinese auto market, which is the world’s largest.
China has also seen great rise in the sales of SUVs which is why most automakers are also showcasing their gas-guzzling SUVs. Some of these SUVs have also been showcased in their hybrid avatars to please China’s Communist government which has stringent laws of emissions, thanks to the pollution blanket over some of its major cities including capital Beijing.
(With agency inputs)