A few days ago, we mentioned that Volkswagen might have something to say about GM’s press release which claimed that in 2010, “Shanghai GM became China’s first passenger car maker to sell 1 million vehicles annually.”
Today, Volkswagen said something, without even mentioning GM.
Volkswagen, which operates car ventures with Chinese state auto groups SAIC Motor and FAW Group, sold 1.92 million cars in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2010, up from 1.40 million a year earlier, Reuters reports.
We said a few days ago that “VW is expected to have sold a little bit less than 2 million passenger cars in China,” and VW did not disappoint.
Volkswagen sold 37 percent more vehicles in mainland China and Hong Kong. Compared with arch rival GM, Volkswagen either gained or lost market share in China, it depends how you look at it.
Compared to the big Chinese GM that sold 2,351,610 units last year (including more than a million Wuling delivery vans), Volkswagen gained market share. Big GM grew 28.8 percent, while Volkswagen grew 37 percent.
Compared to the small GM, a.k.a. Shanghai GM which sold 1,033,307 Buicks and Chevys, Volkswagen lost market share. Small GM gained 42 percent.
See, it’s a matter of perspective, and we’ll find enough perspectives to make everybody happy.
The Volkswagen number is impressive, given the fact that it’s all passenger vehicles and that Volkswagen could not make the number of cars the ravenous market demanded. In China, Volkswagen was capacity constrained for most of the year.
To fix that, they will drop serious money into China. Volkswagen will invest $13.8 billion in the country through 2015, earmarked to expand Volkswagen’s production capacity (two new factories) and to develop new products.
Wuling sales had been a bit lame recently. Once all that new VW capacity comes on-line, Volkswagen could outsell even “big GM” in China.