Akerson: GM will increase investment, add new models in China

Dan Akerson - CEO of General Motors
Dan Akerson - CEO of General Motors

GM is depending heavily on emerging markets for its growth strategy, particularly China. “GM will continue to make China one of our priorities,” CEO Dan Akerson told reporters in Beijing today, without giving more details about the investment plan. The automaker plans to roll out more than 20 new and upgraded models by 2012 in China, he said.

According to the company’s own estimates, it holds a 15% market share in China, and posted record sales there last month, lead by its Buick Excelle and Chevrolet Sail vehicles.

“GM is pretty well positioned in China in terms of product portfolio and strong local partnerships, especially with SAIC,” said John Zeng, an analyst with J.D. Power Asia Pacific in Shanghai, “But what GM may need to do is to produce sport-utility vehicles locally, as it’s the fastest-growing passenger car segment in China.”

The company is also looking at cost reductions to offset the effects of a strengthening yen, which makes it more costly to export vehicles.

Akerson said that GM is hoping to report its Q4 performance in the next two weeks, and is confidant that the outlook is a positive one.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News