GM China’s 2009 vehicle sales jumped nearly 67 percent year on year to 1.83m units, Gasgoo says, citing company data. GM and its joint venture ventures in China expanded their market share to an estimated 13.4 percent, up from 12.1 percent by the end of 2008.
“Despite the sales records in 2009, it looks as if 2010 will be even stronger,” said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of GM China Group. “The industry outlook is strong and we expect more growth, albeit on a somewhat slower pace.”
If Wale is right, China can overtake the U.S.A. as GM’s largest market in 2010. In the first 11 months of 2009, GM sold 1.86m light vehicles in the US, data of Automotive News [sub] shows. In November, GM sold 177,339 units in China. GM’s sales in the US for the month were only 151,427. This marked the first time in history that GM posted monthly sales in a foreign country that were higher than the domestic figure.
GM China’s numbers are a good indicator for the overall market and point to a strong December. During the first 11 months of 2009, GM China had sold 1.64 million units, an increase of 64 percent year-on-year. GM China could sell even more cars, but can’t make them fast enough. Chinese customers sometimes have to wait several weeks for popular models.
Only fly in the rosy ointment: More than a million of the 1.83m Chinese GMs sold in 2009 have been made by the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture that specializes in cheap trucks and vans, popular in China’s countryside. GM holds a 34 percent stake in the joint venture, but counts 100 percent of the sales as theirs.