General Motors making big waves in China

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GM executives breaking ground on GM China Advanced Technical Center.

GM China is making dirt fly, and it has the market position to prove it. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/William Maley/GM Authority)

Among U.S. automakers, no company has as large a market share in China as General Motors. Automotive News reports that GM’s market position in China is very solid, buoyed by a 9.4 percent share of all passenger vehicles sold there over the first 11 months of 2010. That figure reflects a 9 percent increase over sales the previous year.

GM trails only Volkswagen AG

General Motor’s rise in China places it behind only Volkswagen AG in passenger vehicle sales. However, Volkswagen’s lead is large – a 16.6-percent share. The German automaker’s passenger vehicle sales are spread out among the Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi brands.

General Motors’ sales numbers in China include over 1 million Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac units sold through November. That reflects a 49 percent increase over 2009, and has executives at GM China hopeful that its market share will continue to grow in China throughout 2011.

Set a New Sail for market share

Volkswagen does not dominate at all levels of the passenger vehicle market. General Motors has carved its niche in the subcompact and small commercial vehicle market. Through GM China and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center, General Motors has become the first automaker in the world to locally produce inexpensive cars for less affluent consumers of China’s interior.

GM’s flagship model in this market is the Chevrolet New Sail. Sales of the vehicle began in January 2010, with prices starting at around $9,066. In November, the New Sail was China’s top-selling subcompact at more than 16,000 sales. Such success has spurred the competition to the chase, as both Honda and Peugeot have low-priced subcompacts in the works for the Chinese market.

Commercial vehicles are also big business

General Motors has also been successful in recent years in China’s small commercial vehicle market. In 2002, GM China partnered with SAIC and Liuzhou Wuling Automotive Co. The partnership receives technological and managerial support from General Motors as parent company, and it is that backing that has enabled GM to shoot to the top of micro commercial vehicle sales with 1 million minivans and micro trucks sold last year through November.


Automotive News

GM China’s David Chen on the Chevrolet New Sail and the Chinese market


  1. jack878 on

    Keep up the good work GM. People in China are not as bias as in the USA and are not hung up with Toyota's and Honda's.