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Chinese Car Sales Tracking to Top 20 Million

Despite potential problems, little sign of slowdown.

by on Jan.21, 2011

Volkswagen sees China as a major battleground among global automakers.

Despite speculation the Chinese economy is heading for trouble and the threat of an east-west trade war, prospects for car sales in China remain bright this year, key executives from German and American companies said recently.

Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche said, during a visit to Detroit, sales of new vehicles in China clearly could top 20 million units in 2011, “There are a lot of people who think it’s pretty realistic they could sell 20 milloin units in China this year,” said Zetsche, who has made expanding the Chinese foothold of Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz flagship a top priority over the last couple of years.  China is now one of the world’s largest markets for luxury vehicles and continues to grow, he said.

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Susan Docherty, the Shanghai vice president of sales for GM’s international operations, also said GM expects total vehicle sales in China to expand in 2011. Volumes in the booming Asian nation totaled 18.35 million, last year, and sales of GM and its partners topped 2.3 million units – the first time any maker ever topped 2 million in a single calendar year.

“Remember, sales have increased by double digits in each of the last five years,” she said.

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