General Motors will launch the updated Chevrolet Cruze sedan this month at the Beijing show, choosing China for the model’s global debut as the carmaker seeks to boost sales of the brand in its biggest market.

The Cruze, Chevrolet’s best-selling model in China last year, is one of six new or refreshed Chevy models being introduced this year in the country, Bloomberg News reported. GM is also displaying 36 other vehicles at the Beijing motor show.

GM, edged out Volkswagen in sales volume in China in the first three months of this year. Matthew Tsien, president of GM’s China operations, said in February the automaker was counting on 19 new or refreshed models to boost sales by 10% in 2014. Chevrolet sales in the nation failed to keep pace with the market last year, rising 4% as overall passenger vehicle sales jumped 16%.

"This model is the most important one, for sure," Yale Zhang, a Shanghai-based managing director at Autoforesight Shanghai, told Bloomberg. "In China, the compact segment is the most important."

The report said Cruze sales in China increased 6.1% last year to 246,890 vehicles, edging out the Sail, a compact sedan. The current Cruze is priced from CNY108,900 (US$17,500).

Local rivals include the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Lavida, Toyota Corolla and Kia K3.

Bloomberg said the Lavida and Focus outsold the Cruze in the first quarter of this year (the Lavida was top seller while the Cruze was 10th).

With the new model, the Cruze could "easily" move up to become one of China’s five best-selling models, Zhang told the news agency.

The Cruze update is a mid-life facelift with a new grille design similar to that seen on newer Chevrolets launched recently in the US. A full redesign is expected in 2016.