GM China Sales Indicate Strong February

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
gm china sales indicate strong february

China will most likely announce strong sales numbers for February. Not as strong as in January, when sales of all motor vehicles shot up by 126 percent, but still strong. How do I know this without the official numbers? By looking at GM. GM has always been a good leading indicator for China’s sales.

GM said today that its February vehicle sales in China rose 51 percent from a year earlier on strong demand for Chevrolet and Cadillac models as well as its popular minivans, Gasgoo says. Expect the rest of the industry to come in with similarly good numbers.

Comparing January and February numbers is a bit complicated in China this year. Last year, the Spring Festival holidays started in January, this year, they started in February. China was closed for most of the month.

2009 auto sales in China were up 45 percent. Forecasters predicted that growth this year would be much slower. Kevin Wale, bossman of GM China, doesn’t buy into that: “The continued strong market demand portends another record year for both the industry and GM in China in 2010.”

Here’s another surprising number: Chinese manufacturers apparently couldn’t make enough cars to fill the ravenous appetite. China’s car imports jumped 140 percent in January, says Gasgoo. On average, China exports half as many cars as it imports.

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  • BDB BDB on Mar 03, 2010

    Unions will come to Mexico but not China. Well, not as long as China remains a one-party authoritarian state, anyway--authoritarian states hate independent labor unions. Because, like religion, they're a nexus of power independent of the state, and authoritarians just can't have that.

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Mar 03, 2010

    Whoever does not want to accept TTAC policies is free to do so. Outside of TTAC. First warning issued. Consult the FAQ regarding possible consequences.

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Mar 03, 2010

    Let me clear up some recurring misconceptions. GM sells a lot of cars because they were the second large car company (after VW) to take the Chinese market seriously. (Theoretically, the 3rd, but AMC and later Chrysler thoroughly bungled their chance.) Most of the GM success is smoke and mirrors, they count over one million little Wuling vans, a joint venture in which they have only a 34% share. VW is the largest real car brand in China, by a wide margin. Japanese brands sell a lot of cars in China, especially in the South. WWII has long been forgotten. Shanghai GM sold 727,620 cars in 2009, Toyota sold 709,000. The share of homegrown brands is rising rapidly. The #1 selling sedan is a BYD.

  • Gimmeamanual Gimmeamanual on Mar 03, 2010

    Also... There are unions, and they can be effective, just not in the stranglehold method that Americans are used to reading about. There are also "private" unions inside individual companies that are quite effective. There are many factories in China that are as nice as, and even nicer than, factories in the US. Especially in automotive JV's. They aren't all dirt floors and toluene vats.