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General Motors China Sales Drop 9.3 Percent in February

Decline raises red flags about 2016 auto sales.

by on Mar.07, 2016

The Buick Envision helped push GM China's SUV sales up 115% in February. The company's overall sales were down 9.3%.

General Motors reported it sales in China dropped by 9.3% during February, reversing the sales gain the automaker reported during January and feeding the anxiety felt around the world about the outlook for the Chinese economy in general.

GM blamed the decline on seasonal factors, notably the early start to the Chinese New Year holiday, which shuts down commerce throughout China. But with concerns about the path of the Chinese economy rattling markets around the world, the decline in February is bound to feed the anxiety over future auto sales in China, which is now the world’s largest market.

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GM executives have predicted that new vehicle sales in China, where the automaker ranks just behind Volkswagen in total sales, would grow modestly 2016. (more…)

GM, Ford, Buick Trend and Deliver Record Chinese Sales

by on Jan.08, 2016

The Ford Focus in China.

Despite the increasingly serious downturn in the Chinese economy, both Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. managed to lock down record sales in China for 2015.

That bucks the trend that has hammered a number of their key competitors, including Japanese giant Toyota and embattled German maker Volkswagen. Both makers are upbeat, albeit playing things cautiously as they look ahead to 2016.

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So far, both GM and Ford have refrained from making any predictions about China’s market. However, executives from both companies are likely to be pressed for forecasts during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.

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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…)

New Sales Record Can’t Push GM Past VW in China

GM finishes second for second consecutive year while Toyota is third.

by on Jan.06, 2015

Despite a record-setting performance in 2014, GM finished second to Volkswagen in China again.

With archrival Toyota beginning to retrench in the world’s largest market, General Motors and its joint ventures sold a record 3,539,970 vehicles in China in 2014, an average of one vehicle every nine seconds and almost 9,700 vehicles each day.

GM’s sales were up 12% from the previous high of 3,160,377 vehicles sold in 2013, but it wasn’t enough to pass market leader Volkswagen, which in 2013 emerged as the leading seller of new vehicles in China. Even Toyota’s sales were up 12.5%, but the company still finished a distant third behind VW and GM in 2014.

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VW sales rose 18% to more than 1.8 million vehicles, the company said today. That compares with GM’s 1.73 million units, an 11% increase. In 2013, the German automaker outsold GM in China for the first time in nine years. (more…)

Despite Downturn China’s Economy Still Strong

Current growth rate near sweet spot of expansion.

by on Oct.21, 2014

Fan Gang, director, National Economic Research Institute, suggested China's economy will be strong for several years.

Despite the fact that China’s economy isn’t living up to predictions this year, the overall picture for the country is bright even as it faces significant challenges to its growth, one of China’s leading economists posited yesterday at the Global Automotive Forum in Wuhan, China.

Fan Gang, director, National Economic Research Institute, suggested China’s economy will grow at a slightly slower pace, 7.3% rather than the 7.5% rate projected by the central government at the beginning of the year. However, a growth rate of between 7% and 8% is more manageable and more sustainable for what is now the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States’.

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In fact, a hotter rate of growth would be problematic, Fan said. If the economy grew faster than 9%, inflation would become a problem for the country as a whole, while a growth rate of better than 10% could create an “asset bubble” either in real estate or elsewhere in the economy. (more…)

GM, Ford Post Record February Sales in China

Makers flourishing despite country’s sluggish economy.

by on Mar.06, 2014

The Ford Mondeo is a strong seller in China and helping lead the maker to rising sales there.

While the Chinese economy may be sluggish, those forces don’t seem to be hurting General Motors and Ford. The two U.S. automakers, which continue to expand their footprints in the country, posted record sales results in February after seeing strong results in January too.

GM reported its joint ventures sold 257,770 vehicles in China during February, setting a new record for the month as sales increased 19.9% from the same month last year. Continued strong demand for the Ford Focus, the best-selling nameplate in China last year, helped Ford China increase sales by 67% in February, with 73,040 vehicles sold.

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Both GM and Ford are off to a fast start despite concerns about the Chinese economy, which is facing a variety of challenges and is growing at a slower pace than in the past. China’s economy grew 7.7% last year, according to Bloomberg, and similar growth is expected again this year. (more…)

Automakers Use China’s Desire for Western Brands to Grow Sales

New book outlines country’s development and relationship with auto industry.

by on Oct.25, 2013

China is the world's largest automotive market and an economic force due to the auto industry.

The Volkswagen Group began construction on its 16th plant in China, while a strong showing in China during the third quarter also bolstered Ford and Daimler AG earnings and outlook for the future in the eyes of many financial analysts.

“This new, state-of-the-art factory is further proof of the Volkswagen Group’s comprehensive commitment in China,” said VW Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn, who noted the new plant will be able to build more than 300,000 vehicles annually. “Here in Ningbo and together with our partners, our pioneering spirit is once again driving economic and technical progress in the Chinese automotive industry.

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“We are working hard to offer our customers in China the best vehicles and most efficient technologies – engineered and made in China. For our Group brands, the Ningbo plant also gives new momentum to tapping the full potential of the huge market south and west of Shanghai.” (more…)

GM, Ford Set China Sales Records

Makers run hot despite cool-down in Chinese economy.

by on Aug.06, 2013

Ford CEO Alan Mulally plants a kiss on the 7 millionth Transit van during a recent visit to China.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. both reported record sales in China last month, continuing to brush aside concerns about the economy of the Asian nation which has shown signs of cooling down in recent months.

GM, in particular, has been gaining ground in China in recent months, closing the gap with long-time rival and traditional market leader Volkswagen AG. Ford, though showing strong, double-digit gains, is still playing a game of catch-up after long delaying its entry into what is now the world’s largest automotive market.

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Sales by GM’s various joint ventures in China, increased 11.1% in July to 221,580 vehicles, which shattered the sales record set in July 2013. So far this year, China has become the company’s most important market, sales increasing by more than 10%. Last year, GM sold more than 2.8 million vehicles in China.

To underscore the growing importance of the Chinese market, GM this month announced that it would move Tim Lee, its head of International Operations, to a new post as chairman of GM China.

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VW Announces Major New China Investment

Maker’s announcement will spread impact of auto manufacturing to Western China.

by on Apr.23, 2012

VW already has an established manufacturing base in first-tier Pacific Coast Chinese cities, such as Shanghai.

It’s a huge week for the Chinese auto industry with most of the headlines emerging from the biennial Beijing Motor Show – but at least one major story is coming from halfway around the world.

During a meeting at corporate headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen AG officials revealed to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel plans for a major expansion in the automaker’s long-running partnership with China First Automobile Group.  That includes a new plant in Urumqi, capital of the western province of Xinjiang.

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That in itself is significant, supporting Chinese government efforts to spread the country’s economic boom and — in turn — create new markets for automakers like VW.

“A 30-year success story unites Volkswagen and China,” Volkswagen AG CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn told the visiting officials. “As a pioneer of the Chinese automotive industry we gave important momentum to China’s industrial development and to German-Sino economic relations. Together with our partners we will now carry this pioneering spirit into Western China as well.”

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GM China Sales Top 2 Million

Despite market slowdown, maker heading for new record.

by on Oct.18, 2011

GM China President Kevin Wales.

General Motors has sold more than 2 million vehicles in China for the second year in a row – and despite the slight slowdown in the market – now the world’s largest – the U.S. maker appears set to post another yearly sales record.

The American auto giant reached the 2-million-unit-mark more than two weeks ahead of the date last year when it became the first global automaker to sell 2 million vehicles in China, GM reported

“This is another outstanding achievement for GM in the world’s largest vehicle market,” said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group. “Our key brands and many of our key products have continued to experience record demand despite intense competition.”

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GM’s SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture, which is targeted at customers in smaller cities and rural China, sold its 1 millionth vehicle in China this year on Oct. 14. In addition, demand in China this year for the Buick brand has risen 24%, with Cadillac up 73% and Chevrolet posting an 18% increase.

China is now the second-largest global market for Chevrolet – which has been pressing hard to expand outside its traditional base in North and South America.  Sales surged 411% since the brand was introduced in China in 2005 – this year expecting to post another record after reaching 544,000 in 2010.

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