Monday, November 06, 2006

GM's China sales soar 37%

Tuesday, October 17, 2006
GM's China sales soar 37%
Automaker credits new models in competitive market for jump in first three quarters of 2006.
Elaine Kurtenbach / Associated Press

SHANGHAI, China -- General Motors Corp. and its joint ventures in China saw sales jump 36.7 percent in the first three quarters of this year, helped by strong demand for newly introduced models such as the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Lova, the company said.

GM's strength in the fast-growing but increasingly competitive Chinese market is in line with the 40 percent year-on-year jump in car sales industrywide in China from January to September.

The 645,680 vehicles sold by GM, Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling were a record for the company, GM said in a statement late Monday.

"Both our new vehicles such as the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Lova, and more established models such as the Buick Excelle and Buick GL8 families have performed well this year in China's highly competitive marketplace," it quoted Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group, as saying.

Wale earlier had forecast sales growth of about 20 percent.

In the January to September period, sales by GM's joint venture with state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp., or Shanghai GM, increased 33 percent on an annual basis to 296,658 units, the company said.

Sales of Buick and Chevrolet products (including the Spark mini-car), grew 27.8 percent and 51.0 percent year on year, respectively. Cadillac luxury brand sales also topped 27 percent.

SAIC-GM-Wuling, GM's other China joint venture, saw sales jump 39 percent year-on-year to 346,078 units, nearly 215,000 of which were its Sunshine minivan. The company has said it plans to offer new Cadillac and Wuling models in the coming weeks, ahead of the Beijing auto show in November.

Passenger car sales rose 36 percent in China from January to September, to 345,800 units, according to the China Auto Manufacturing Association.

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