General Motors hits the accelerator on automobile sales in China
General Motors is selling more cars in China than it is in the US. GM’s sales in China through August rose 8.1 percent to 2.38 million, compared with a 4.2 percent drop to 1.96 million in the United States.
GM and its joint ventures delivered a record 293,537 vehicles in China in August, up 18 percent year over year, GM China announced recently. The Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet and Baojun brands reached all-time sales highs for the month.
“Our mainstream passenger-car entries drove our sales momentum,” said Matt Tsien, GM executive vice-president and GM China president. “We are looking to build on our success by adding another five new and refreshed models in the final four months.”
Cadillac deliveries in August rose 93 percent year over year to 9,914 units. Deliveries of the ATS-L luxury sedan and XT5 luxury crossover both surpassed 3,000 units. Sales of the XTS, a luxury sedan, increased 65 percent from the year-ago period.
Buick deliveries in August rose 23 percent to 94,188 units, led by the Excelle GT sedan. Envision SUV deliveries increased 53 percent on an annual basis, and the Verano series exceeded 13,000 units. (Sun Yat-sen, China’s first president, took his first car ride in a Buick in 1912.)
Chevrolet deliveries increased year over year to 38,706 units in August, led by demand of more than 19,000 units for the Cruze family, spurred by the arrival of the new Cruze in July.
Chevy recently launched the Cavalier compact midsize family sedan and will introduce the sixth generation of its Camaro later this month.
GM partner Baojun, known for its budget pricing, delivered 51,099 units in August, an increase of 41 percent year over year. Sales of the Baojun 730 MPV and Baojun 560 SUV were up 37 percent and 52 percent.
“GM has a strong presence in China — clearly it’s the bestpositioned among US-based automakers — built on its solid brand and partnership strategies,” Dave Zoia, editorial director for Ward’s Auto, told China Daily.
“China now is Buick’s key market, and as evident in August sales momentum, is in the right direction for GM’s Cadillac luxury brand as well.
“After taking a bit of a breather last year, the volume brand of Chevrolet is rebounding in part on the strength of the newly arrived Cruze,” Zoia said. “And the domestic Baojun brand gives it what looks to be a pretty successful entry in the entry-level end of the market. So overall, GM’s huge investment in China is paying off nicely.”
Another GM partner, Wuling, reported that deliveries grew last month despite a tough market for mini commercial vehicles. Deliveries rose 8 percent year over year to 99,589 units, driven by the strong performance of the Hong Guang MPV family.
In the first eight months of 2016, GM and its joint ventures’ auto deliveries in China increased 8.1 percent year over year to a record 2,374,542 units.
GM has 11 joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign enterprises and more than 58,000 employees in China.
According to Economic Times, GM faces competition from Chinese companies whose products are selling better due to more consumer confidence in the vehicles. The local companies also have advantages on labor and materials costs.
GM is looking to counter the trend with the rollout of 10 energy-efficient vehicles and is also considering ride-sharing as a potential growth area.
GM’s longtime US rival Ford isn’t doing so bad in China itself, as the company and its joint ventures there set another sales record in August with 96,450 vehicles, up 22 percent.
“We continue to build momentum in China on the strength of the most comprehensive and exciting Ford lineup we have ever offered Chinese customers,” said Peter Fleet, vicepresident of marketing, sales and service, Asia Pacific.