By on February 9, 2011

Less than two weeks ago, GM China hinted that their sales may have risen more than 20 percent in January. This was seen as a good omen, because most pundits (except this one) had predicted a miserable January for China. GM China released its numbers today, and they over delivered. GM China reports a record month in January.

GM sold 268,071 units across its Chinese joint ventures in January. That’s an increase of 22.3 percent compared to the wild January of 2010. It also broke GM’s previous monthly sales record of 230,038 vehicles set in March 2010.

Shanghai GM’s sales reached 131,944 units, a whopping increase of 46.3 percent from January 2010. Chinese sales of SAIC-GM-Wuling’s family of mini-vehicles remain sedate and rose only 10.6 percent to 132,658 units. FAW-GM, GM’s light-duty commercial vehicle joint venture, sold 3,334 vehicles in China.

The strong January numbers of GM and Volkswagen augur well for continued growth of the Chinese market. The numbers of Wuling are another  positive indicator. Wuling is very big in the sub 1.6 liter segment and profited a lot from past government subsidies that had been withdrawn as 2010 came to an end.  Under these circumstances, even the mild growth of Wuling is nothing short of a miracle. All prognoses were that this segment would collapse in the first quarters of 2011. That it powers on after the subsidies were withdrawn is testament to the vigor of the Chinese market.

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