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GM, Ford Enjoy Strong March Sales in China

Auto sales rise despite economic sluggishness.

by on Apr.07, 2015

Cadillac's March sales in China were 76% due in large measure to a strong interest in the ATS.

General Motors and Ford saw their vehicle sales grow in China during March despite concerns about the slower growth in the Chinese economy.

GM reported its sales increased 8% last month to a March-record 338,350 units. GM has 11 joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign enterprises and more than 58,000 employees in China.

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Sales by SAIC-GM-Wuling and Cadillac, which saw its sales grow by more than 76%, reached an all-time monthly high, while Shanghai GM and Chevrolet had record March domestic sales. (more…)

Baojun Scoring Major Gains for GM in China

by on Apr.24, 2014

Introduced at this years Beijing Auto Show, the Baojun 610 is the brand's newest model.

A new brand General Motors launched only three years ago is poised to double its sales this year as GM continues to move ahead with its rapid expansion in China.

Baojun, the brand that belongs to the Shanghai-GM-Wuling joint venture sold 100,000 cars last year and sales are expect to climb to 200,000 units for all of 2014, according to Ray Biezrynski, executive vice president of SGM-W, one of the cornerstones of GM’s ongoing expansion in what is now the world’s largest automotive market.

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The growth of the Baojun brand could be particularly critical considering GM last year slipped behind long-time rival Volkswagen AG, now the Chinese market sales leader. But the impact isn’t limited to China.  The booming Asian nation now accounts for more than one third of GM’s global sales. (more…)

GM Bumps Up Chinese Production

Maker targets new buyers with Baojun brand.

by on Nov.26, 2012

The Baojun 630 targets the next wave of new Chinese car buyers.

Hoping to maintain its role as the Chinese market’s sales leader, General Motors has opened up a new assembly plant primarily aimed at the next generation of buyers in cities just beginning to share in China’s fast-growing economy.

The factory, in the southern city if Liuzhou, will be used to build the Baojun 630 midsize sedan. The Baojun brand was launched just over a year ago as a joint venture between General Motors and its existing Chinese partners, Shanghai Automotive Industries Inc., or SAIC, and Wuling Motors. The three have been operating jointly as SGMW.

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Until now, China’s automotive boom has largely focused on major cities along the Pacific coast, including Shanghai and Beijing. But demand is rapidly growing in central and western “Tier 2” and “Tier 3” cities just beginning to share in the country’s economic expansion. Baojun is especially focused on first-time, entry-level buyers.

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GM Sets New Sales Record – Again – in China

Another month, another record?

by on May.08, 2012

The Buick Envision concept car at last month's Beijing Motor Show.

Another month another record seems to have become the prevailing pattern for General Motors in China. The U.S. giant and its various Chinese joint ventures set a domestic sales record for April of 227,217 vehicles.

Demand was up 11.7% from the same month in 2011, GM reported as it continues to defy the slowdown in China’s vehicle market due to the strength of the Wuling brand, which is marketed to customers in China’s vast interior.

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GM has also been gaining traction with the all-new Baojun brand.  Launched late last year, it’s a joint effort of the U.S. maker and partners SAIC and Wuling.  Baojun is specifically targeting the next generation of first-time buyers as China’s economic boom spreads from the Pacific Coast to the country’s interior and western provinces.

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GM Sets Another Sales Record in China

GM defies market slowdown.

by on Apr.11, 2012

GM continues to gain ground in China with products like the Buick Excelle.

Slowing car sales have not bothered General Motors and its joint ventures in China – which now appear on track to set another all-time record for 2012.

GM reported it sold 257,944 vehicles in March in China and 745,152 vehicles during the first quarter of 2012, setting records for both March and the first quarter.

GM’s domestic Chinese sales in March were up 10.7% from the same month in 2011. They were the second-highest for any month in GM’s history in China. For the first three months as a whole, its domestic sales increased 8.7%, the best quarter since GM began doing business in China a dozen years ago, the auto giant reported.

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“GM has maintained our growth in our largest market in 2012, despite an overall industry slowdown,” said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group. “Our new models, such as the Chevrolet Malibu, have gotten off to a solid start, complementing the ongoing strength of established products such as the Buick Excelle, Chevrolet Cruze and Cadillac SRX.”

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Wuling: GM’s secret weapon in fight for China

Targeting the next generation of Chinese motorists.

by on Apr.26, 2011

The new Baojun 630 will target the next wave of new Chinese car buyers.

Far from the bright lights and sophistication of its base in Shanghai, General Motors has developed a secret weapon in the duel for supremacy in the Chinese market.  In 2010, SGMWuling, or Wuling for short, generated roughly 50% of all GM’s sales in China.

Based in LiuZhou, a gritty industrial city some 1,400 kilometers (875 miles) south of Shanghai, Wuling is now the single largest brand sold in all of China – by far dominating the more familiar Buick brand that was GM;s first entry into the Chinese market. Wuling’s small, utilitarian vans dominate one of the largest and most important segments in China’s fast-growing vehicle market and it’s quickly adding capacity to capitalize on its recent success.

In addition, Wuling is launching its own car brand, Baojun, which will fill in price points below Chevrolet and appeal to motorists in China’s second, third and fourth-tier cities where buyers tend to be more concerned about value and affordability than status.

“Wuling is most respected in rural areas,” notes Kevin Wale, president of GM China, adding Baojun is aimed at market where buyers want value. Thus, the prices for the Baojun 630, which was unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show last week, is expected to start at around $8,500. SGMW hasn’t confirmed any prices yet, however no vehicle in the line now costs more than $9,500.

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Wuling already sells one passenger car, the Letchi, which is based on the old Chevrolet Spark, and the plans are to add more models to the Baojun line fairly quickly.  It will compete for sales in inland China with regional brands that play an important role for ambitious local Chinese auto companies such as Geely and Chery.

Matthew Tsien, Wuling vice president and one of a small cadre of GM personnel assigned to LiuZhou, explained that Wuling is a three-way joint venture between GM, its Shanghai-based partner SAIC and a local, state-owned enterprise, LiuZhou Wuling Motor Co. Ltd.

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GM Aiming for 5 Million Sales in China

Maker planning investment of up to $7 billion in bid to dominate booming market.

by on Apr.19, 2011

The Chevrolet Malibu gets its official launch in Shanghai.

General Motors plans to invest between $5 billion and $7 billion in a bid to double what are already record sales in the booming Chinese automotive market.

Last October, the maker became the first ever to top 2 million sales in China during a single year, ending 2010 with a grand total of 2.35 million.  But the carmaker’s top China hand says the goal is to pump that up to around 5 million units by 2015.

The new Chevrolet Malibu, getting its official launch at the 2011 Shanghai Motor, is one of the keys to GM’s planned growth.

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“We have set some aggressive goals with our five-year plan,” said GM China President and managing director Kevin Wale. “We are confident that we will achieve every one of our goals by providing local consumers great products and compelling designs relevant to the China market and by following our strategy of working in China, with China, and for China,” he said during the opening of the 2011 Shanghai show.

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