GM To Add Chinese Production Capacity, Increase Exports

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Despite fears of building overcapacity in the Chinese market, GM is still very much enamored of its chances in the Middle Kingdom. Terry Johnsson, vice president of the automaker’s China operations tells Reuters

We sold everything we could build in 2010 and the same holds true in 2011. We could actually sell more than we will be able to (build) if we are not capacity constrained. We are actually short of capacity. The total business is going to go up by the size of a single plant. It’s not just about this year. We’ll have to look about a real rapid increase in our capacity

After all, the Chinese market may have slowed to a “mere” 10-15%, but GM’s sales were up by 20% last year as foreign automakers solidified their hold on the Chinese market. And even if the Chinese market does hit a wall (crazier things have happened), China’s desire to boost exports of its domestically-produced cars will help justify further investments in Chinese production capacity. Johnsson adds that GM will a “substantial amount” of its made-in-China Chevy Sail to emerging markets over the coming years, a decision that further justifies an investment in Chinese capacity. Only 5k Sails were exported last year (to Chile), but exports should rise to 20k units this year. Still, even those increased numbers pale in comparison to Chevy’s 125,625 Sails sold in China last year. But GM is already looking at shipping knock-down kits of the Sail abroad as it looks to increase Sail exports beyond even the 20k units planned for next year. After all, if The General has to bump UAW workers into the second tier to build subcompact cars in the US, production of low-cost cars like the Sail will have to stay in China for the forseeable future.

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Feb 01, 2011

    Watch the damn road, Amigo! Not a bad looking car, clean and simple. Sort of reminds me of what the "Metro" might look like if it hadn't gone out of production.

    • Stingray Stingray on Feb 01, 2011

      No man, that thing would have an EPIC finish if it explode or is T-boned by a Class 8 truck. Really. That thing is way too freaking cursi (or pretentious or kitsch depending on the dictionary). At half the ad my evil twin started: shot them shot them arrrrgggghhhhh

  • Stingray Stingray on Feb 01, 2011

    No vale, que cursileria tan grande. So the baby is about to birth (they're going to the hospital), the car is the first car for your new life yadda yadda yadda... meh, have seen better ads with that theme. Seems like Aveo 1.5 or 2.0, whatever, looks decent.

  • Jeremie Jeremie on Feb 01, 2011

    That guy needs to keep his eyes on the road.