Despite worries over a substantial drop of the Chinese stock market and new competition from domestic brands, General Motors and its joint ventures reported record retail sales of 1,719,202 vehicles during the first six months of the year in China.
Demand was up 4.4% from the first half of 2014. The increase was driven primarily by GM’s improved mix of SUVs and MPVs. While the news of an increase was positive, it fell short of the 10.4% increase in the first half of 2014.
“An evolving product mix is essential for meeting the diverse demand in China, given its position as the world’s largest vehicle market,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. “We will continue to add more new and refreshed models in the second half to keep up our growth momentum.”
Retail sales of GM’s SUV models surged 82.7% in the first half to 148,081 units, led by Buick Envision deliveries of 57,413 units. Sales of the automaker’s MPV models were up 31.4% to 505,519 units, led by the Baojun 730. Cadillac luxury vehicle sales climbed 14% on an annual basis to 39,444 units.
Tsien noted GM’s Product launches in the second half of 2015 include the new Chevrolet Malibu sedan and Baojun 560 SUV. In addition, the Buick Verano sedan will reach showrooms nationwide following its launch on June 27 and domestic production of the Buick Envision will increase.
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However, GM sales in China dropped for the third consecutive month as the automaker reported retail sales 246,066 units. Last year, GM’s operations in China’s logged sales of 257,798, according to the automaker.
Overall, Buick had its best first half ever in China, selling 436,226 units. This was up 4.3% year over year. The brand was led by the Excelle GT and XT, which sold a combined 107,799 units. Demand for Buick’s trio of SUVs (Envision, Enclave and Encore) more than doubled to 96,433 units.
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Cadillac also set a sales record for the first six months of the year. Sales of the ATS and ATS-L reached 14,158 units, a new high for the period. In addition, deliveries of the XTS and the SRX topped 12,000 units each.
Chevrolet sales rose 0.6% year over year to 317,408 units. Sales of the Cruze, the brand’s most popular model in China, set a first half record of 124,898 units. The Trax urban SUV sold a record 27,967 units.
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Baojun retail sales were up 308.5% on an annual basis to 159,511 units. Wuling sales decreased 5.5% on an annual basis to 764,172 units.