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GM says over 40% of new China launches in next five years will be EVs

FILE PHOTO: The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Ramos Arizpe, state of Coahuila, Mexico October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - General Motors Co GM.N is planning an electric car offensive in China with more than 40% of its new launches in the country over the next five years set to be electric vehicles (EVs), the U.S. carmaker said on Wednesday.

GM’s electric vehicles, many of which will be all-electric battery cars, will be manufactured in China with almost all parts coming from local suppliers, the company said in a statement released at its Tech Day event in Shanghai.

Reuters reported earlier on Wednesday that GM was planning to overhaul its Chinese line-up to stem a slide of sales after more than two decades of growth in a country that contributes nearly a fifth of its profit.

GM’s new China boss Julian Blissett told Reuters that new technologies, such as EVs and cars with near hands-free driving for highways, would play a key role in GM’s China initiatives, which are part of a push to get annual sales in the country back to the 4 million peak it hit in 2017.

GM did not say in its statement how many new or significantly redesigned models it was planning to launch in China over the next five years.

“China will play a crucial role in making our vision a reality,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in the statement, referring to its initiative to create what it describes as a future of “zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion” through electrification and smart-driving technologies.

GM has said it plans to invest more than $20 billion in electric and automated vehicles globally by 2025. It was not clear how much of that investment will be spent in China.

Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu in Shanghai; Editing by David Clarke

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