Young in the car manufacturing industry, Wuling is a tiger that made its way ahead of car manufacturers with colorful decades of manufacturing history. Wuling is the top car manufacturer that originated from China as of today.
Although it has been manufacturing microvans in 1982, it was in 1986 that Wuling—then under the name, Liuzhou Automobile Industry Corporation—it made its name as an official car manufacturing company. In 1986, it made an agreement with Mitsubishi Motors to produce the Mitsubishi Minicab L100. As the company began to use local parts rather than importing car parts, it rebadged the minicab as the Liuzhou Wuling LZ 110.
In year 2001, SAIC and Wuling combined forming the SAIC Wuling Automobile Co., Ltd. In 2002, a joint venture was created between SAIC Motor, General Motors and the Wuling Group thus creating SAIC-GM-Wuling. This newly formed company began producing microvans and small trucks. Officially, Liuzhou Wuling Automobile Industry Co., Ltd.—this time a joint venture between the Wuling Group and Dragon Hill Holdings Limited—was established in 2007 but it was still producing vehicles under the joint venture of the SGMW. Both joint ventures use ‘Wuling’ as its official brand.
SGMW was able to acquire a small-scale manufacturing company, Etsong Vehicle Manufacturing, in 2005. The plant was based in Qingdao, China. The company used the factory primarily to augment the SGMW mini-vehicle capacity. In 2010, in order to compete against the leading car manufacturer, Baojun, Wuling—under SGMW—produced a passenger car, the Chevy Spark.
Wuling is known to mass produce vehicles, especially micro-vehicles like microvans, at a large scale with one of its factories being able to produce 400,000 units annually. By the turn of the first decade of the 21st century, Wuling was able to expand and build subsidiaries to cater to the needed car parts to make the Wuling Group and the Wuling brand possible in the global market.
By 2010, it became the company that produces vehicles for its leading competitor, Baojun. By 2011, the Wuling brand has sold more than 1 million vehicles in China alone. Due to its popularity is known as ‘mianbao che’, or bread box cars. To date, it remains the most sold microvan model in China.
Although it has not yet completely penetrated the global automobile industry it does export vehicles to some countries in Africa like Egypt, the Middle East, North America and other Asian nations like India.
Following the joint venture of about five companies, namely: SAIC Motor, General Motors, Wuling Group, Dragon Hill Holdings Limited and Baojun, the company took a logo using five red diamonds formed in the shape of ‘W’ for the Wuling Brand. Each diamond represents the each of the company in the joint venture. The color red is a popular Chinese color that signifies abundance and prosperity in life and in business.
- Wuling Sunshine
This microvan is no bigger than a compact car sold over 450,000 units in China. Known for its utility purpose and inexpensive cost, the Wuling Sunshine is so far the most sold microvan model in China.
- Liuzhou Wuling LZ 110
This is the definitive Wuling branded vehicle that literally launched the company to a mass production tiger in China. This vehicle is produced under the Mitsubishi Motors license.
- Wuling Hongtu
Originally created for the Wuling brand, General Motors rebadged this model as the Chevrolet N200 in South America, the Middles East and North Africa.
Wuling’s headquarters in found in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China. However, it also has a plant in Qingdao after it acquired the Etsong Vehicle Manufacturing Company in 2005.
What To Love about Wuling?
Wuling is known for producing cheap vehicles for the lower income citizens. Since it aims to build the ‘farmer’s car’, Wuling vehicles are created for purpose and for economy.
Build to be used, function is the key inspiration in building Wuling vehicles.
What Not To Love About Wuling?
Limited Structure and Design
Since the company aims to build cars that Chinese people can actually serve multiple uses, the design is limited to a crossover between a van and a compact car. This then creates an unusually cute looking vehicle.