GM's sales in China rise 15%

Updated: 2014-10-13 11:53

By Paul Welitzkin in New York(China Daily USA)

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General Motors Co and its joint ventures in China posted a 15.2 percent increase in September sales as the automaker remains on track to exceed last year's sales volume.

China sales rose to 319,936 units last month, the company said in a statement on Oct 10. For the first nine months of this year, sales have grown 11.6 percent to 2.58 million vehicles.

Matthew Thsien, president of GM China, said last week that the company is positioned to surpass 3 million in sales for the second consecutive year and expects to top last year's record sales of 3.16 million vehicles.

David Whiston, an analyst at Morningstar, said General Motors is benefiting from an in-demand product lineup.

"GM, along with Volkswagen, has been a market leader in China due to a great product line and good brand equity with Chinese consumers. This is reflected in the fact that GM sales were up 15 percent while Ford sales were basically flat," he told China Daily.

In September the company also surpassed 20 million cumulative sales in China. "This is another significant sales milestone for GM China and proof of our ongoing commitment to this market and to providing great vehicles for buyers here," Tsien said in a statement.

GM's Chevrolet brand posted a sales increase of 19.3 percent year-on-year while Buick sales were up 17.8 percent. The company's luxury brand - Cadillac - saw sales jump 51.4 percent. Wuling, the main brand operated by SAIC-GM-Wuling and one of GM's key joint ventures in China, recorded a 4.2-percent sales increase in September.

Despite talk of a slowing economy in China, Morningstar's Whiston said sales continue to thrive in what is the world's largest auto market.

"I know there is concern about China's economy, but I just don't see it in auto sales numbers, especially with foreign carmakers. German companies are doing very well in luxury sales."

Even with speculation on China's economy, Whiston expects car sales to continue at a robust pace for the rest of the year. He is forecasting continued growth with sales expanding in the low double digits on a year-over-year basis.

GM has 10 joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign enterprises and more than 58,000 employees in China. Its passenger cars and commercial vehicles are sold under the Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang, Opel and Wuling brands.