Today, Bloomberg delights its readers with the news that “General Motors Co.’s passenger-car venture in China sold its millionth unit this year, becoming the first carmaker to reach that sales level in the world’s largest auto market.” Spinmeistery at maximum revolutions.
Just a few days ago, the same Bloomberg had this story:
“Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest carmaker, said annual deliveries in 2010 will exceed 7 million for the first time as sales in China surge. VW’s 11-month deliveries in the world’s largest car market advanced 38 percent to 1.82 million vehicles, accounting for 28 percent of global sales, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company said in a statement today.”
Of course, technically, both stories are correct. “GM’s passenger car venture in China” is one joint venture (with SAIC), while Volkswagen’s passenger car operations in China span joint ventures with two companies, SAIC and FAW. And truth be told, Volkswagen’s numbers also include Audi and Skoda (but not to material effects – and anyway, that “GM passenger car venture in China” consists of Buick and Chevrolet, so there.)
The common reader is not interested in new math or technicalities, he or she wants (if at all) to know who is more successful than the other. And Volkswagen vastly outsells GM in passenger vehicles in China.
And what ever happened with staying on topic? Wasn’t GM’s line that they are China’s biggest, with more than 2.3 million expected sales, including Wuling minivans? Now suddenly, it’s down to a million – passenger vehicles. Don’t confuse a reader with the attention span of young puppies. They’ll start shaking their heads and might sue for whiplash.