GM China Auto Sales Soar 78%

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on August 3, 2009

Vrooom! GM auto sales in China soared 78% in July compared with last year, propelling Chinese car sales for General Motors’ mainland joint ventures in the first seven months by nearly 43%, as sales of locally made Buicks and especially 0f low cost minivans under the local Wuling brand. Total sales reached 959,035 vehicles. As my colleague Ian Rowley who covers the auto industry in Asia points out: “A lot of the sales growth is from the low-margin Wuling minivan JV, in which GM only owns a 1/3 stake. Some analysts argue that it shouldn’t even count those sales, which account for 65% of the total, as its own given Shanghai Auto has a 51% share.

The latest results, trumpeted by GM in a press release waiting in my in-box when I got to work on Monday morning, provides fresh evidence supporting projections of China becoming a 12 million vehicle market this year and widening its lead over the U.S. as the world’s biggest auto market. It also shows the breadth of China’s economic recovery, particularly in second and third-tier cities where the demand for cars [and consumption demand overall] is growing much faster than coastal metropolises like Shanghai and Beijing.

China’s latest PMI figures also show the economy’s upward momentum is building edged up to 53.3 in July from 53.2 in June, its fifth consecutive month above 50, indicating a steady expansion in new orders.

Reader Comments

Asan

August 3, 2009 9:07 PM

Buying Chinese, my countrymen! Buy GM is giving money to the terrorist sponsor country, which not only schemed Tibet, and Xinjiang Riots which each killed many Chinese citizen, also provided safe haven the ETLM's Bin Laden followers.

Akuang

August 4, 2009 10:23 AM

I suggest GM to move its company entirely to China and change its name into General Mao.

rob

August 4, 2009 10:55 AM

This is garbage reporting. WULING minivans are what is selling the most, and these are 5000 dollar tin can minivans. WULING is basically like a four wheeled quadricycle with an egine.
So millions of tin cans sell like hotcakes in China, big deal!
INDIA is far superior.

MMC

August 4, 2009 12:47 PM

I really hope that Chinese are buying feul-efficient cars.

peter guerra

August 4, 2009 5:04 PM

Great for GM in China !! TOO bad all you Japanese brand car buyers don't give GM a chance here again I think GM makes great cars here and in China. The earlier comment about moving the conpany and General Mao Motors were insulting coming from people that suppurt the Japanese Car market instead of their own

Taishan

August 4, 2009 5:14 PM

Positive news regarding China's economic and industrial growth always gives me goose bumps :) A few years back, BW did an article about the Americanization of Toyota. The number of Toyota's being built in America began to approach the numbers being built in Japan and alarmed Toyota management. Management had to act to ensure that the American branch didn't overshadow the Japanese branch. Could we be seeing the same thing with GM and China? Is there a possibility (or "risk" depending on perspective) that the Chinese branch could overshadow the American branch of General Motors?

Koala

August 4, 2009 7:32 PM

Tata will replace GM and Toyota combined as No1. car maker in 3 years and cow drink will be most popular drink in the world before the recovery of the recession. Watch out! Coke and Pepsi.

Thomas

August 4, 2009 9:37 PM

GM can't compete with the Japanese by building cars in the US or Mexico. They've tried that for the last 30 years and failed miserably. They will fail again even if they try that for another 30 years. GM should dispose of all its North American plants and use China as a platform to build cars for the China market and for exports.

Thomas

August 4, 2009 9:59 PM

Car manufacturing is too low-tech for an advanced country like America. The US should focus on Silicon Valley high tech and leave car manufacturing to Asians.

@rob

August 4, 2009 11:36 PM

"INDIA is far superior" --- Give you a wake up call, TOYOTA is kind of late in the Chinese car market, when they released Camry in early 2007, they sold 250,000 Camrys in the first year, second only to the U.S. where the anuual Camry sale is around 800k before the recession. BMW sells about 120k cars in the US, they sell 50k cars (mostly 5 and 7 series) in China. How many BMWs, Benz, Lexus are there in all India ? The luxury cars are rushing to China for a reason, Chinese buy them in large quantities!

C. H. Ng

August 5, 2009 5:58 AM

If India is far superior, how come she is forever playing second fiddle to China, not only in economic but also in sports? For all of her (India) size and population which is (again) second to China, she can just muster a gold medal in the last Olympics game in Beijing.

To those who just can't stop bragging India's might or greatness, just remember this...STOP MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF AS YOU AND YOUR COUNTRY ARE NOT EVEN THERE..YET!!

Henry L.

August 5, 2009 7:53 AM

If WULING minivans are tin cans then what is the nano? cardbox take-away boxes?

Henry L.

August 5, 2009 7:53 AM

If WULING minivans are tin cans then what is the nano? cardbox take-away boxes?

@Thomas

August 5, 2009 9:59 AM

For an "advanced country" like America, it should focus on what it does best -- manutacturing and saling bonds, and leave the rest to Asians.

Julianne

August 5, 2009 11:15 AM

@rob, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE REALITIES. INDIA IS THE DIRT POOR 3RD WORLD COUNTRY. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE MOVIE HAS SHOWN THE WORLD WHAT INDIA IS LIKE.

Julianne

August 5, 2009 11:15 AM

@rob, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE REALITIES. INDIA IS THE DIRT POOR 3RD WORLD COUNTRY. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE MOVIE HAS SHOWN THE WORLD WHAT INDIA IS LIKE.

rob

August 5, 2009 11:22 AM

TATA NANO has just passed European safety norms and exceeds all emission standards.
WULING fails miserably in all categories.
There is no comparison.
In INDIA, quality is Job One. In CHINA, the trick is to scrimp on quality and cut cost.
That is why HYUNDAI is exporting 250,000 cars per year from INDIA to Europe.
INDIA's auto industry is far far more advanced than China's.

C. H. Ng

August 6, 2009 3:32 AM

@Rob...Maybe to you Indian made cars are better than the Chinese made but are they comparable to Korean made, no need to even mention Japanese or other European made cars? If your Indian made cars are really that good, please use them to compare with the world's best. You are like someone who claim to be a very good chess player but never dare to play against a better player than youself.

Nevertheless I doubt both Indian or Chinese cars are really good at this moment, or else you can see them selling very well all over the world. Maybe in another 5 years or so I believe the Chinese made cars will be near to some of the world's best but definitely not the Indian made.

For your infor, my country's (Malaysia) made cars are no better than either India's or China's made. But at least I don't or won't dare to brag about it openly in this blog. So for heaven's sake, please stop bragging here.

Howard

August 7, 2009 11:13 PM

To Rob:
As about Hyundai exports 250K cars from india to EUROPE, it is the same as Apple makes its iPhone and iPod in CHINA and export to the whole world. So what? It just means the koreans and americans are doing a good business, by exploiting the cheap labor in india and CHINA.
BTW, Hongkong and Singapore make almost nothing, but they are still top-ranking highly competitive economic giants, run by talent Chinese.

Muhammed

November 2, 2009 8:16 PM

Tata's own Daweoo, Jaguar and LandRover. Dont mess with superpower INDiA.
We will beat Chinese in space Technology-Already india is ahead of China in auto exports.

C. H. Ng

November 3, 2009 3:25 AM

@ Muhammed:-

Talk is cheap. Don't keep talking about keeping up with China here. And why China? Why not Japan or Germany or USA? I also can say my country, Malaysia, will overtake India as the bigger car producer within 10 years. Can you believe such nonsense? Nobody does, my friend. So stop bragging here!

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

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