GM Sells More Cars In China Than Back Home

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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?

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Manny Manny on Oct 25, 2009

    I had a 1980 Z-28, bought it new from the lot, at 23,000 miles the harmonic damper cut through the cover, luckily I caught it on time. Driving to college the left exhaust manifold cracked, I sold the car after repairs and bought a brand-spanking new 1981 Corvette, quite beautiful.....At 9000 miles the car would travel 3 or 4 blocks and shut off completely, it turned out to be the control-command computer, a new item for 1981, this went till the end of 1981, the dealer having replaced the darn thing 3 times, I went to my local Datsun dealer and bought a brand new 280ZX, kept it till 265,000 miles, no problems. Fast forward, I'm on my fourth Nissan product (Infiniti I-35)looking forward to January of next year when the new revised Infiniti G-37 coupe makes it's debut. RIP GM, you will not be missed.

  • Asdfghjkl Asdfghjkl on Oct 26, 2009

    In 1974 I bought a brand new Datsun B210 to find out what the hype was all about with the Japanese cars. Consumers Report rated this car as a great car. Within the two years I owned it, the engine had to be taken apart for a warp head, the brakes gave me trouble with a leaky cylinder, the transmission had to be overhauled. Needless to say, I never believe Cosumers Report and did not buy another Japanese vehicle until 2003 when I bought a Toyota Matrix. The Matrix was also a poor choice. Wheels bearings had to be replaced, engine was always hard in starting. Replaced the alternator and traded the car with 25,000 miles on it with a fear something else would break. I've own GM cars in between those years with no such major problems as I had with the Japanese cars.

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  • AZFelix Fun duo who lived and worked in China for many years have a candid and crushing assessment on their EV manufacturing.
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  • Arthur Dailey 'The capitalists will sell use the very rope that we use to hang them.' In our household we have cut down our shopping/spending and pay more to purchase products from 1st world nations or 2nd world nations that are our 'allies'. That also means quite often only buying and eating fruit and vegetables that are in season. Just like our parents and grandparents did.At least TTAC published an article on May 21st regarding LAN transformers that contravene the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act being used in some BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, and VW products?