Sales in China by American carmakers perked up during June, offsetting the weakness earlier this year, with GM posting a 4.3% increase while Ford Motor Co. posted a double-digit increase of 15%.
Overall, for the first six months of 2017. GM’s sales in China declined 2.5% while Ford’s have dropped 7%. During June, GM and its joint ventures in China posted record sales as deliveries increased to 285,191 vehicles.
The Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands all posted record results for June, and Chevrolet had its strongest growth in six months. Demand for SUVs, the key driver of GM’s sales growth, remained the company’s best-performing segment, surging 42% last month.
“We are pleased with the strong demand across our brands in June,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien.
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“Over the next six months, we will be launching 10 new and refreshed models to build on our momentum. They include the much-awaited all-new Buick Regal premium sports sedan and Baojun 310 wagon in July.”
Cadillac posted June deliveries of 12,886 units, an increase of 35% on an annual basis, for its 16th consecutive month of double-digit growth. Sales in the first half of 2017 jumped 75% from a year earlier, according to GM officials.
Ford, meanwhile, reported sales in China surpassed 100,000 vehicles during the month of June, delivering the company’s best ever June sales. Changan Ford Automobile, Ford’s chief partner, sold more than 70,000 vehicles, up 9% year over year.
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“We wrapped up the second quarter with strong sales of key vehicles, including Ford Mondeo, Ford Edge and Lincoln MKC,” according to Mark Ovenden, vice president of sales, service and marketing for Ford Asia Pacific.
Although Ford’s sales for the first half of 2017 are down 7%, that only speaks to the poor start to the year for the automaker as second quarter sales were up 7%.
“I would expect to see for the third quarter strong single digit percentage growth (for) the industry. That’s certainly how it looks to us based on the run rate and how the month of July has opened up,” said Peter Fleet, Ford’s Asia Pacific chief, reported Reuters.
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Ford hopes to keep the momentum going in the fourth quarter by bolstering its efforts in the sport-utility segment, he added. Utes are the fastest growing segment in China, and Ford plans to launch a new version of the EcoSport small SUV later this year.