Reuters reports that GM’s Chinese joint venture is trimming prices of the Corsa-based Buick Sail, as well as upgrading the model in the face of increasing competition in the marketplace.

Based on the previous-generation Opel Corsa, the Sail is similar to a GM Brazil-developed saloon model made in South America and South Africa.

GM is reducing prices for its Sails to 92,800-119,800 yuan ($11,210-$14,480) for notchback versions, and 112,800-129,800 yuan for sport recreational vehicles.

Sail notchbacks were previously priced at 100,000-125,000 yuan, and SRVs were sold at 122,500-135,500, GM said in a statement.

This year has seen price cuts by several leading carmakers led by Xiali and followed by other makers. The government cut tariffs on car imports by about one-third to 40-50% this year.

 The decision to slash the price of the Xiali 2000 by nearly a quarter to 97,000 yuan ($US11,757) last week has led to a nationwide sales surge.

Jili in East China’s Jiangsu Province cut prices while Central China’s Dongfeng Citroen, a Sino-French joint venture has also cut the price of its popular Citroen ZX Fukang.

Vehicle industry experts are still mixed on how far the price drop will go. Some say the Spring Festival – the most important festival in China which falls on February 12 this year – may spark another round of price cuts.