Chevrolet plans 3 new SUVs for Thailand, Captiva first

After cutting off its passenger cars a couple of years back and leaving just two models in Thailand – the Colorado pick-up truck and the truck-based Trailblazer SUV – Chevrolet is plotting an SUV-powered comeback. First up is the new Chevrolet Captiva that was previewed at the 2019 Bangkok International Motor Show in March, and two more are coming next.

As detailed in our Bangkok show report, the new Captiva is basically a rebadged Baojun 530 from China, which was launched early this year in Indonesia as the Wuling Almaz. Both Baojun and Wuling in Indonesia are joint ventures between GM and China’s SAIC Motor. Besides being GM’s JV partner in China (it also has a JV with Volkswagen), SAIC owns brands such as MG and Maxus.

The new Captiva for Thailand is set to come with a 1.5 litre turbo engine and CVT combo, channeling drive to the front wheels. Its main selling point will be value for money – the starting price will be under one million baht for the five-seater, and around 1.2 million baht for the seven-seat version. That’s B-SUV pricing for a big C-segment SUV. The Captiva will be launched in September.

Chevrolet plans 3 new SUVs for Thailand, Captiva first

Chinese market Chevrolet Tracker SUV

According to the Bangkok Post, Chevrolet also has plans to introduce another SUV to slot in below the Captiva. This could be the Chevrolet Tracker, a B-segment SUV that was launched in China this year. There, the crossover can be had with a 165 hp 1.3L three-cylinder turbo engine with a CVT, and a 114 hp 1.0L with a manual gearbox. The latter probably isn’t the right fit for Thailand.

The Tracker is set to play in the 700,000 baht to one million baht price range, a zone that was once represented by the B-segment Sonic hatchback/sedan and C-segment Cruze sedan in the Land of Smiles.

The daily’s report says that the third model after the Captiva and Tracker is said to be a crossover combining the virtues of an SUV and MPV. Codenamed CN220C, the yet-to-be-released model was teased during a video presentation to Thai journalists in China last month.

Chevrolet plans 3 new SUVs for Thailand, Captiva first

Baojun RM-C Concept

Sources hinted that the CN220C will have a upmarket interior sitting on a 2.8-metre wheelbase. With styling largely inspired by the Baojun RM-C concept car that debut in April, it will be more upscale than the ill-fated Chevrolet Spin, GM’s take on the ASEAN budget MPV that didn’t take off.

From now, China will be in charge of Chevrolet’s new models for our region, with a focus on three key pillars aimed at younger buyers – network connectivity, intelligent driving aids (from Bosch) and intelligent servicing (faster, more efficient processes during periodic maintenance). Expect the new Chevy SUVs to pack in plenty of tech, then. It’s no coincidence that SAIC’s MG is using the same tactic in Thailand – value and tech – to lure the young.

In Malaysia, the GM brand does not currently have an official presence after Naza Quest ended its Chevrolet distributorship in November last year.

GALLERY: Cheverolet Captiva at Bangkok 2019

GALLERY: Cheverolet Tracker, China-spec