Over the past two decades, China has been one of the automotive industry’s great success stories. The bicycle kingdom has been transformed into a country where four-wheel transportation has become affordable for people nationwide. General Motors has been a driving force in making it happen.
In 2012, China became GM’s largest market for retail sales. A half decade later, GM once again set a record in China with deliveries of over 4 million vehicles for the first time. China ended the year as the number one market for the Buick and Cadillac brands, and second-largest market for Chevrolet. We benefited from the launch of 18 new and refreshed models across our brands and market segments in 2017.
GM is on a global mission to zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. Nowhere is this more important than in China, where demand for passenger vehicles remains on the upswing.
GM is working closely with our partners to bring our electrification solutions and advanced technologies to market. We are in the process of rolling out more than 10 new energy vehicles through 2020 in China. Two of those products, the Buick VELITE 5 extended-range electric vehicle and Baojun E100 electric vehicle, debuted in 2017.
Our company has also taken the lead in exploring connected vehicle opportunities. In 2017, we demonstrated GM’s Vehicle-to-Infrastructure capability on public roads in Shanghai for the first time. In addition, the first standard designed for the connected vehicle application layer in China, developed by a working group with GM’s active participation, was officially released.
Despite the industry’s ongoing change, one thing has not changed: GM’s commitment to our communities, team members and stakeholders. This supports our vision to be the most valued automotive company in China. We have found that we can do well by doing good.
Five of GM’s most energy-efficient manufacturing facilities in 2017 were in China, and GM and our joint ventures ended the year with seven landfill-free facilities in China. In addition, 11 buildings operated by GM and our joint ventures received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for reducing their environmental impact, and four facilities received Wildlife Habitat Council certification for creating wildlife habitats and enhancing biodiversity.
GM is actively engaged in a range of corporate social responsibility projects across China. We are focused on education, environmental protection and safety.
In the area of education, we continued our support of the Village Kindergarten project in 2017. In the space of two years, GM employees have volunteered their time to teach more than 500 children in rural Qinghai.
Matt Tsien planting trees for World Environment Day.
In the area of environmental protection, more than 100 employees helped celebrate 2017 World Environment Day by planting trees, installing birdhouses and releasing turtles at the GM Campus in Shanghai, while over 60 employees visited residents living near the Shanghai Chongming Dongtan National Nature Reserve to teach them about the importance of protecting migratory birds.
And in the area of safety, GM China’s Safe Kids Safe Ride program with Safe Kids Worldwide (China) marked its fourth year. A highlight was the Safe Kids Safe Ride Car Seat Installation Workshop for parents at a Chevrolet dealership in Shanghai.
GM China has also gotten its suppliers involved. In 2016 and 2017, a total of 24 local suppliers participated in the Green Supply Chain project. They received professional training and support to reduce their energy consumption and increase their recycling of materials.
Our work has not gone unnoticed. GM China received the China Social Responsibility Award at the 2017 China Corporate Social Responsibility Annual Forum, the Sustainability Influence Award at the Heading Toward 2040: Corporate Innovation and Urban Sustainability Shanghai Summit 2017, and the 2017 AmCham Shanghai Corporate Social Responsibility Award.
We are equally proud to have received Top Employer certification from the Top Employers Institute for three consecutive years for nurturing and developing our GM China employees.
GM believes in a cleaner, greener, safer and less congested future in China. We also believe in being a leader in all areas of our business, from the way we treat our environment to the way we treat our employees. We are proud to be working with our partners and the rest of our company to make it happen.
GM Executive Vice President and President,