General Motors announced today that its sales in China jumped 66.9 percent in 2009 to a record 1,826,424 units. GM credits the sales to Buick, Chevrolet and Wuling vehicles in helping GM China achieve an estimated market share of 13.4 percent, up 1.3 percent from the end of 2008.
GM said that the strong year-end results are due in part because of the record December sales by the company’s Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling joint ventures and the addition of sales from its new FAW-GM joint venture.
“Despite the sales records in 2009, it looks as if 2010 will be even stronger,” said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. “The industry outlook is strong and we expect more growth, albeit on a somewhat slower pace. It is our intent to keep up with that growth and make sure we defend our leadership position.”
During his recent trip to China, President Barack Obama said that GM “can learn from their operations” in China “in terms of increasing sales back in the United States.”
Click through to read more detailed sales breakdown in the press release posted after the jump.
GM Sales in China Jump 66.9% in 2009 to All-Time High, Continue to Lead the Industry
* 1,826,424 units sold in 2009, achieving year-end market share record of 13.4%
* Builds on forward-looking strategy of rolling out new products with improved fuel economy
* Ongoing expansion and investment position GM for long-term success
Shanghai ““ GM and its joint ventures in China announced today that their domestic sales jumped 66.9 percent in 2009 to a record 1,826,424 units. Based on bullish sales of Buick, Chevrolet and Wuling vehicles, the GM China family achieved an estimated market share of 13.4 percent, another year-end record and an improvement of 1.3 percentage points from the end of 2008.
The strong year-end results were possible in part because of record December sales by GM”s Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling joint ventures and the addition of sales from its new FAW-GM joint venture.
“We are proud of our performance in 2009,” said Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group. “Chinese consumers responded enthusiastically to our lineup of modern, fuel-efficient and stylish products, validating our strategy of rolling out a steady cadence of great vehicles that are leaders in their respective segments. This is part of GM”s global strategy of focusing on designing, building and selling the world”s best products.”
In 2009, as part of GM”s aggressive product launch strategy, GM and its joint ventures in China introduced several new and upgraded models to keep up with strong industry demand, including the new Buick LaCROSSE and New Regal turbo series; the Chevrolet Cruze; and the new Cadillac SLS and SRX. In addition, GM continued to bring to China its latest technology such as the new 1.2-liter engine in the Chevrolet Spark and ECOTEC 1.6-liter DVVT engine in the Chevrolet Cruze. Both powertrains made the list of the 10 best engines in China for 2009.
GM and its joint ventures continued increasing their investment in China to help position themselves for long-term success. To provide better service to local customers, Shanghai OnStar initiated in-vehicle safety, security and communication services. It welcomed its first subscriber in China on December 20. In addition, the GM China Science Lab was launched and PATAC opened its new vehicle safety lab. Shanghai GM broke ground on China”s largest proving ground in Anhui province, SAIC-GM-Wuling opened a new engine plant in Qingdao, and GM China moved to new offices in Shanghai, sharing space with the GM International Operations headquarters and the Center for Advanced Research and Science.
To maintain its growth, the GM China family continued to expand. In the middle of the year, GM launched an important new partnership with FAW, FAW-GM, which has given GM a presence in the light commercial vehicle segment. In December, GM and SAIC Motor announced the establishment of a new 50-50 joint venture investment company, General Motors SAIC Investment Ltd., to capture business opportunities in Asia”s emerging markets.
The joint global automobile partners of World Expo 2010 Shanghai, GM and SAIC, built their corporate pavilion. GM and SAIC will be jointly showcasing their vision for the future of urban transportation called “Drive to 2030.” GM will highlight its advances and leadership in vehicle electrification and connectivity technology.
Record Buick, Chevrolet and Wuling sales
Domestic sales by Shanghai GM rose 63.3 percent to 727,620 units in 2009. The passenger car joint venture was once again led by its original brand, Buick, which experienced sales growth of 59.6 percent year on year to 447,011 units. The Excelle, which sold 241,109 units, remained the brand”s bestseller for the sixth consecutive year. Further contributing to the resurgence of Buick in China were the New Regal, which generated sales of 79,930 units, and the new LaCROSSE, which generated sales of 43,429 units in just six months on the market.
Chevrolet sales in China likewise experienced strong growth, with 332,774 units sold ““ an increase of 67.1 percent from 2008. The Cruze, GM”s new global compact car, enjoyed great success in China, with sales of 92,190 units despite being on the market only nine months. In addition, the Lova had sales of 118,935 units.
In 2009, SAIC-GM-Wuling became the first automaker in China to sell more than 1 million vehicles in a year, increasing its domestic sales by 63.9 percent to 1,061,213 units. With sales of 596,630 units, the Wuling Sunshine set a Chinese industry record for annual sales by a single model.
FAW-GM sold 34,510 light commercial vehicles in the four months after its establishment in August 2009 and began construction of a new assembly plant in Ha”erbin.
According to Wale, “As China asserts itself as the world”s largest vehicle market, our domestic operations will be counted on to deliver solid results. We will continue to introduce cutting-edge products that are leaders in their segments in fuel economy, quality and styling.”
– By: Stephen Calogera