GM China Up Nearly 20 Percent in October, Boding Well For Chinese Overall Sales

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Our patent-pending China new car market prediction system (take GM China, deduct a few percent) hasn’t been doing so well lately, due to the poor showing of Wuling, which confused the mix. Let’s give it another cautious go. GM China increased its October sales by 19.6 percent on strong sales of Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac cars. That according to Bloomberg, which has it straight from GM Shanghai.

GM and its Chinese joint ventures sold 199,641 units in China last month, compared with about 166,900 in October 2009. Back home in America, GM sold 183,543 units in October, compared with 176,632 units in October of 2009. Both governments will be happy.

GM wants to sell two million vehicles this year in China, the first international joint venture partner to do so. Duh: In the first 10 months this year, GM’s China sales had already jumped 35.5 percent to 1,976,913 units, according to the press release. Think they’ll make the 2 million?

Brand-wise, Shanghai GM, GM’s passenger car joint venture, sold 99,003 vehicles in China in October, up 44.5 percent from the same month last year. Its overall sales, including exports, totaled 100,833 units in October. The Buick brand is up 35.7 percent to 54,490 unitsl

Chinese sales of Chevrolet products in October increased 52.5 percent year on year to 50,813 units, fueled by record sales of the New Sail small car family (14,563 units) and Cruze lower-medium sedan (17,798 units).

Cadillac sales are getting a bit better, 1,716 units in October. Nearly half of them go on account of the SRX SUV.

Sales in China by SAIC-GM-Wuling, GM’s mini-commercial vehicle joint venture, that used to add a million or more econoboxes a year to GM China’s unit count, are up an anemic 5.1 percent, still messing with our model.

FAW-GM, GM’s new light commercial vehicle joint venture, sold 6,505 vehicles in October. No comparison to last year.

So what does that mean for the Chinese market in October? I really don’t know. With Wuling confusing our scientific sample, percentage gains could now exceed those of GM. Let’s wait a week until the CAAM numbers are in.

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="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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