Here’s a piece of news that will make Gordon G. Chang double his daily dose of Maalox, after he had eaten his words written in Forbes: This September, GM China sold more cars than GM USA. General Motors and its local joint ventures sold a record 181,148 vehicles in China in September, the company reports via Gasgoo. Back home in the U.S.A. GM sold 156,673 cars and trucks, as per Automotive News [sub] official statistics.
China is well on its way to become the No. 1 market for GM. In the first nine months, GM sold more than 1.29 million vehicles in China, up 55.6 percent from a year earlier. GM’s US sales dropped 36.3 percent to 1.53 million cars and trucks in the same Jan-Sept period. With sales of cast-off brands Hummer, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn eliminated, GM’s U.S. sales were 1.3 million in September, just slightly more than the automaker’s China sales.
While GM’s sales in the US are heading South, GM’s sales in China may grow more than 40 percent to exceed 1.6 million vehicles for the full year of 2009, said Kevin Wale, president for GM China. He said first-time car buyers in China’s smaller cities were a major driving force behind surging sales. He said nothing about state enterprises having been commanded to hoard cars on secret parking lots, as reported by Forbes.
For next year, Wale has even more ambitious goals. He sees GM China to outperform China’s booming auto market in 2010. GM plans to roll out 30 new or revamped models in China from 2009 to 2014, including 10 Buick and Chevrolet models due for launch this year and next. “China is a key part of GM’s future strategy. It is currently the largest and fastest growing market in the world,” said Wale to the WSJ,. “We will continue to put priority on our success here in China.” Fritz Henderson recently came to China to enjoy some freedom: In China, GM is only 50 percent owned by the government.
Now, Gordon, who are you going to disbelieve? The Chinese government, or a company owned by the US government? Any guesses what his answer will be?