Surge continues for auto icon and its joint ventures
BEIJING - General Motors and its joint ventures sold 203,367 vehicles in China in April, the third month this year that the carmaker's monthly sales surpassed 200,000 units in the world's largest vehicle market.
Domestic sales by Shanghai GM, its flagship joint venture, increased 7.4 percent over a year ago to 96,219 units, a record for the month of April.
SAIC-GM-Wuling continued to lead China's microbus segmeant with more than 100,260 of the inexpensive vehicles delivered last month.
GM's commercial vehicle joint venture with FAW reported sales of 6,470 units.
The robust April pushed the tally for GM and its joint ventures to a record 888,950 vehicles in the first four months, an increase of 6.3 percent over the same period last year.
GM was the largest foreign vehicle producer in China last year with total sales of 2.35 million vehicles.
At the recent Shanghai auto show, the company announced that it will invest $5 billion to $7 billion in China over the next five years to double its sales to 5 million units by 2015.
GM's China chief Kevin Wale said the company plans to introduce more than 60 all-new and upgraded models to the nation from 2011 to 2015, nearly half of them Buicks and Chevrolets.
Sales of the Buick brand in April rose 8 percent to more than 53,000 units. Chevrolet contributed over 44,000 units in sales for the period.
GM is among the first foreign carmakers to roll out a new, local brand specially built for Chinese customers. The first model under its Baojun brand debuted last month and will hit the market soon.
In addition to the Baojun 630, Wale noted other success stories like the Chevrolet new Sail and new Buick GL8 that were developed in China.
He said the company will continue to leverage its local vehicle development capability to better meet customer needs.
GM will also bring its Chevrolet Volt electric car to China in the last half of the year.
GM also rebounded in the US, where it sold 232,500 vehicles in April.