By on June 6, 2010

GM and Ford reported new monthly record sales in China, says the usually reliable government-owned China Daily. Really?

Ford said its China sales rose 17.8 percent. Ford is a relative nobody in China. File under “never mind.”

GM China’s May numbers are much more remarkable. They need to be carefully read. Tread carefully: Cleverly hidden landmines ahead!

GM’s total Chinese sales (all brands) totaled 196,400 vehicles. Sales of Shanghai GM rose 48.7 percent from a year earlier to 83,302.

See what they did? They didn‘t give the percentage growth for all brands. Usually, they trumpet it out. And TTAC needs that number for our patent-pending China sales indicator: Take GM (all brands,) deduct a few percent. And bingo, you have the market performance. Works all the time, usually. This time, GM makes me regret that I didn’t pay more attention during the rule of three. GM makes it hard to get to the truth in May. Is there something to hide?

Everything looks hunky-dory: There is a Chevy number (up 103.6 percent!) There is a Cadillac number (up 98.1 percent!) Gee, there even is an Opel number (they sell Opel in China? They do! Up 214 per cent!) But where is the growth number for all of GM China? We need it!

Especially because there is that nasty little number, not quoted in China Daily, but deep down in the GM China press release. It says that “SAIC-GM-Wuling sales in May rose 5.2 percent.” Ooops. That’ll hurt.

But how much? They are making backtracking extra hard by throwing in 6,773 sales from a joint venture with FAW that did not exist in May 2009.

We need to make some assumptions. With the caveat that it’s 2:19 am in China, TTAC gives GM China, all brands, a May growth rate of around 25 percent. (GM: If we have it wrong, send me the correct number. You have my email address. And next time, please, the total growth number, ok?)

25 percent up for GM doesn’t bode well for the Chinese car market. As GM goes, so goes the nation. The Chinese nation. If our patent-pending formula is right, total growth should be around 22 percent. Last week, the China Automotive Technology & Research Center said the rate would be 29.7 percent. And they were wrong before.

So what do you think it will be when the CAAM announces the official number this week? Will TTAC’s patent-pending prediction formula hold up, dragging China down into the low 20s? Which is close to the U.S. number of +19 percent? Or will our formula go bust, and China will have a growth rate of around 30 percent?

What say you?

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2 Comments on “Ooooops: Record Breaking GM China Numbers Not So Good At Closer Inspection...”


  • avatar

    Wow.
    That first car to make it through safely looked like a Honda Fit.
    Now, the 2nd car, which apparently disintegrated, what was it? I think it looks like a Polo Sedan.
    As to your question Bertel, I think you’ll nail it again, and your patent-protected system will be (once again) vindicated.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Wow, the disappearing car trick! That poor little sedan literally disappeared…

    I think survival depends on what the truck was carrying. If it’s just fluff, he/she might do OK. But the truck’s top heavy, so it must be something pretty heavy…

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