By on January 9, 2012

More than a quarter of GM’s global production is sold in China. General Motors and its Chinese joint ventures sold a record 2,547,171 vehicles in China in 2011, “an average of one car or truck every 12 seconds,” as GM proudly publicizes.  Sales in 2011 were up 8.3 percent, despite a laggardly Chinese market.

GM’s percentage number would be higher, wouldn’t it be for GM’s Chinese volume king Wuling. More than half of GM’s Chinese numbers are on account of the Chinese expert on small delivery vans.  SAIC-GM-Wuling sold 1,285,820 vehicles in China last year, a rise of 4.8 percent on an annual basis.

Shanghai GM sold 1,200,355 vehicles in the domestic market, an increase of 16.2 percent from 2010. Of the Shanghai GM brands, Buick sold 645,537 vehicles, an amazing increase of 17.4 percent year on year. Chevrolet sales in China rose 9.4 percent year on year to 595,068 units. Cadillac nearly doubled its Chinese sales, reporting 30,008 units in 2011, and an increase of 72.8 percent from the previous year. GM’s imported Opel brand remains a rounding error on sales of 4,864 units.

As discussed last week, GM China is a pretty good proxy for the Chinese market: Joint venture cars, especially larger displacement models, sell at a healthy clip. Local brands, especially the sub 1.6 liter genre and commercial vehicles are weak.

Published Change Calculated Diff
Shanghai GM 1,200,355 16.20% 1,275,477 75,122
Buick 645,537 17.40%
Chevrolet 595,068 9.40%
Cadillac 30,008 72.80%
Opel 4,864 51.10%
SAIC-GM-Wuling 1,285,820 4.80% 1,215,562 -70,258
Wuling 1,193,708 3.90%
Baojun 21,854
FAW-GM 56,132 56,132
Total 2,547,171 2,547,171

There is a possibility that Shanghai GM’s numbers are even better, and that SAIC-GM-Wuling’s numbers are a bit worse: If you add the reported numbers of the respective brands, Shanghai GM’s total is 1,275,477, some 75,000 more than reported. By the same math, SAIC-GM-Wuling’s total is 1,215,562, some 70,000 less than reported. In the summation the total jibes. Did Shanghai GM take 70,000 for the team? We have an inquiry in to Shanghai GM, let’s see what they say in the morning.

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One Comment on “GM Reports Record Sales From China...”

  • avatar

    This will come across as cynical so it probably is, but it’s also a sincere question:

    The thing IMHO that led to GM’s downfall in the US was that, when volumes were high, they nibbled on quality to increase margins until it bit them. Then they’d swear they’d reformed but go down the same path.
    Now, in China they have those glory volumes of yesteryear. Bertel, based on what you’ve seen, are they avoiding the trap of sales today, tears tomorrow? That is, how is their long-term quality in relationship to their competition? Here in the states I’m often tempted by the General’s new offering but I’ve learned to wait three years at which point the tears of joy turn into plain ol tears at peeling paint, failed switchgear, or warped plastic intake manifolds et al.

    I would like to think that based on the pictures of Chinese Buicks, they have made a true fresh start there.

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