Gen­eral Mo­tors hits the ac­cel­er­a­tor on au­to­mo­bile sales in China

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - Wil­liam Hen­nelly Con­tact the writer at williamhen­nelly@ chi­nadai­

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.

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