One of General Motors' Chinese joint ventures, Shanghai GM, has launched the Chevrolet New Sail sedan, claiming it's the first passenger car "created" in China by a Sino-foreign joint venture.

Though the car appears to have a strong South Korean GM-Daewoo heritage, it was developed by the GM-SAIC joint ventures Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Centre (PATAC). In will be sold in China and other emerging markets.

Sail itself is an established nameplate, originally launched in China by Buick, and similar to a sedan and wagon line developed from Opel's early 90s Corsa by GM Brazil. That line was also sold in India. GM has since decreed Chevrolet as its low-priced, entry level car brand world-wide.

Shanghai GM will offer five variants of the New Sail priced from around CNY60,000 (US$8,800).

"This marks a breakthrough in the under-RMB 70,000 ($10,300) small car segment, where Chinese brands have traditionally been dominant," the automaker said.

Chinese buyers are offered 1.2- and 1.4-litre 'S-TEC III' petrol engines with variable geometry intake system that meet the local Phase IV emission standard (and Euro IV ) and can be modified to meet China's Phase V standard.

Five-speed manual transmission  is standard and CD player and MP3 interface are available.

Dual front air bags, retractable steering column, antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, child safety locks and a stronger child seat system are standard.

About 95% of components are supplied by GM's global supply chain, with over 40% coming from industry-leading component groups or their joint ventures.

Shanghai GM's paint shop adopted Generation 6 zero-emission painting for the new car which also meets all European Union environmental protection standards in terms of heavy metal proportion and the recycling rate of the full vehicle, according to the automaker.

It will be sold by about 380 dealers in around 200 cities across China.

Shanghai GM president Ding Lei said: "Several years ago, Shanghai GM made the strategic decision to broaden our customer base by developing the New Sail. We improved cost efficiency while setting new quality, fuel efficiency and value standards for economical family cars. With the arrival of the New Sail, we now have an entry in every major passenger car segment."

GM China group head Kevin Wale said: "With the New Sail, we are setting a new standard for the lower-end small car segment while fully living up to the global standards of Chevrolet, one of the world's leading vehicle brands. The fact that the New Sail will be exported is a testament to the capabilities of our product development organisation in China."