GM sees strong growth in China auto sales

AP News
Posted: Nov 07, 2011 4:04 AM

GM's sales in China jumped 10 percent to a record 220,412 vehicles in October, helped by renewed demand for its minivans.

Sales by General Motors Co. and its China joint ventures have exceeded 2.1 million so far this year, up about 7 percent from the 1,976,913 vehicles it sold in January-October 2010, the company said Monday.

Despite strong demand in some areas, especially luxury vehicles and SUVs and some GM models, overall demand in China, the world's largest auto market, has been lackluster this year.

Ford Motor China said its sales in October were flat compared with a year earlier at 40,857 vehicles, though its January-October sales were up 9 percent from a year earlier, at 426,814 vehicles.

Sales figures for domestic automakers are due later this week.

Dealerships saw business slow this year after the government ended tax incentives and subsidies meant to encourage purchases of small, fuel efficient cars. Licensing quotas and other restrictions meant to help control chronic traffic jams have also hurt.

But foreign automakers have fared better than local ones, and GM has reported strong growth in demand for its Chevrolet Cruze and its Buick Excelle sedan and New Regal.

Reviving after a slow start this year, sales of minivehicles by Shanghai-GM-Wuling jumped 19 percent to 111,957 in October, GM said. Minivehicles includes van and some small cars.

But sales by GM's joint venture with FAW dropped 32 percent to 4,408 vehicles, the company said without elaborating.

In 2010, GM sold more than 2.35 million vehicles in China, up 28.8 percent from a year earlier.