Shanghai GM's 2011 Sales Up 18.5 Percent To 1.23 Million - Excuse Me?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
shanghai gm s 2011 sales up 18 5 percent to 1 23 million excuse me

Shanghai GM sold 1.23 million cars in 2011, up 18.5 percent from a year earlier, Reuters reports. This on account of 645,537 Buicks sold in China in 2011, up 17.4 percent. Annual sales of Chevrolet models are reported up 17.9 percent to 555,991 units, Cadillac sales are said to be up 72.8 percent to 30,008 units. But waitaminute – didn’t GM China sell more than 2 million units the year before? Where are they?

What is missing in the tally are a million or so Wulings, which helped prop up GM’s image as China’s largest automaker. This year, the commercial and low displacement segments showed great weakness in China throughout the year. Suddenly, Wuling rained into GM China’s good numbers.

What is also missing is the news release Reuters based its story on. Reuters says it’s on GM’s website. It is not. Or no longer. Maybe we’ll get a new one with the missing Wulings.

In a way GM China stands for all of China: 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.

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6 of 12 comments
  • Trend-Shifter Trend-Shifter on Jan 06, 2012

    in 2010 China had incentives on lower displacement vehicles. I think that pulled ahead sales for those on the fence. I know that many of my employees in China made their auto purchase decisions based on incentives at that time. Later the China government dropped the incentives because the market and economy were overheating. Chinese consumers know that the economy has been weakening and they will wait for new incentives or hold back due to see what the economy does. For the rich business owners they sure have been complaining about labor cost increases the past 6 months. I see the higher end auto market having a temporary pull-back until they "get over it" and realize they are still racking in cash.

  • NN NN on Jan 06, 2012

    30,000+ sales for Cadillac...that's quite significant, and I know Cadillac is a bit player in China. I believe all Cadillac's save the STS/SLS are imported, which makes them subject to high tariffs.

    • Daveainchina Daveainchina on Jan 07, 2012

      I know SUV sales are supposed to be going up, I also am seeing quite a few SRX Cadillac's here in shanghai. I used to see quite a few CTS and the old DTS here, but I don't see them anymore. Still compared to the ubiquitous Buick Lacrosse and all the VW/Audi's here, Cadillac's have a tendency to stand out. One problem China has is that the average Chinese person doesn't like to be too different so they all tend to buy the same cars in different cities. Much more so than in the USA.

  • Alluster Alluster on Jan 06, 2012

    The numbers don't add up. GM said they sold 543,709 Chevrolet's in 2010. How can they claim an 18% increase if they only sold 555,991 units in 2011?

    • APaGttH APaGttH on Jan 06, 2012

      These are not the droids you are looking for. Move along, move along.

  • ChinaCars ChinaCars on Jan 06, 2012

    SGM and Wuling do report their own sales separately. GM China will report total GM China sales next week. GM's total sales in China is well over 2 million in first 11 months. Another good year for sales, no doubt.