As General Motors watches as much as an estimated $50 million disappear due to the UAW strike, it got more bad news as its third quarter sales in China fell 17.5%.
It’s the fifth straight quarterly sales decline for the company. GM delivered 689,531 vehicles in China during the quarter, the company reported. It has delivered 2.26 million vehicles through the first nine months this year, according to Reuters.
The automaker’s sales were hurt by a slowing economy, the ongoing trade tensions between China and the U.S. as well as stiff competition in the popular mid-priced SUV segment. GM is in the process of introducing a record of about 20 new and refreshed models in China this year with an expanded and improved product mix.
GM has increased its focus on midsize/large SUVs and luxury vehicles to keep up with strong demand in these segments by launching seven new models in the past three months and unveiling three models that are planned for launch in the fourth quarter.
The company is also pushing its electric vehicles across its line-up as well as those of its joint venture partners. Baojun’s all-electric siblings, the E100 and E200, went on sale nationwide in the third quarter after becoming popular choices in the cities where they were previously sold.
The VELITE 6, the first all-electric model from Buick, will soon launch variants with an increased electric driving range of 410 km. The company’s regular vehicles found it to be tough sledding during the quarter.
Baojun’s sales dropped 34.9% for the latest quarter. Buick’s sales fell 20.6% during the quarter but did enjoy some bright spots as its Excelle GT sales jumped 20% and the Regal sedan jump 25%. Cadillac enjoyed a record-setting quarter 11% from a year earlier to 51,049 units.
Additionally, Cadillac saw its CT6 large sedan sales soar 68% to about 6,500 units. The jump bodes well for the brand as it prepares to launch its CT5 midsize luxury sedan later this month.
While Ford hasn’t reported its third quarter results, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported that GM and Ford share of total China passenger vehicles sales fell to 9.5% in the first eight months of this year from 10.7% in the year-ago period.
However, German automakers have seen their share rise to 23.8% from 21.6% and Japanese auto makers’ to 21.7% from 18.3%. Despite the decline, is the second-largest foreign automaker in China, selling more than 3.6 million vehicles in 2018.
Overall, auto sales in China fell last year for the first time more than 20 years. They are expected to drop again too despite the government’s push to get more electric vehicles sold in the country. August sales fell 6.9% from the year-ago period, CAAM reported. September sales will be released next week.