While bankrupt General Motors is struggling to hold market share in the U.S., its Chinese operations are posting record sales. Its two Chinese joint-ventures achieved sales records in May, as the Chinese economy grew and demand for minivans and cars increased.
GM’s minivan tri-venture with SAIC Motor and Liuzhou Wuling Automobile, sold 100,258 units last month. It was the first time that a Chinese automaker sold more than 100,000 vehicles in a single month.
GM’s joint-venture with Chinese automaker SAIC Motor, Shanghai GM, also saw sales increase more than 50% from a year earlier to 56,011 units in May, primarily from Buick brand sales.
In total GM’s vehicles sales in China were up 75% from a year earlier period to 156,000 vehicles in May, the company said. In the U.S., its May sales were off 42%, to 190,881 units, with Buick declining 49% to 21,494 vehicles. If the current trend holds, GM China will soon be larger in sales than GM U.S.
Overall, China’s new vehicle sales rose 9.4% to 3.83 million in the first four months of this year, while sales in the U.S. through May have declined 37% to 3.9 million units. When final May numbers are released it is expected that China will continue to be the world’s largest car market.
Chinese Cash for Clunkers in place
SAIC-GM-Wuling has been booking strong sales since January when the Chinese government cut taxes in half on small vehicles, and has now provided Yuan 5 billion ($733 million) in rebates to encourage automobile sales in rural regions.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a key industrial policy setting group, also announced last week that consumers who trade-in their used mid- and small-sized truck and some types of mid-sized passenger cars for new ones will receive rebates from Y3000 Yuan (about $438) to Y6000. (more…)