By on April 5, 2012

The Chinese car market isn’t dead yet. China had delivered a few lackluster months and was promptly feted by the I-told-you-so crowd as the 21st century version of the limits of growth. Suddenly, the Chinese car market shows surprising signs of resilience. Sales data for March are not here yet, but TTAC’s patent-pending Chinese sales oracle has spoken: GM China.

General Motors and its joint ventures in China sold 257,944 vehicles in March, and 745,152 vehicles in the first quarter of 2012, a statement by GM says. For March, this is an increase of 10.7 percent compared to the same month in 2011. In the first quarter, GM’s sales in its largest market increased 8.7 percent.

In March, Shanghai GM’s domestic sales increased 10.5 percent on an annual basis to 110,038 units. SAIC-GM-Wuling’s sales in China increased 11.6 percent year on year to 139,768 units. This is a very good sign after weakness in the commercial sector gave cause for concern.

In the past, sales of GM China have been a good indicator for the Chinese market overall. If you expect the Chinese market to tank, then GM’s numbers will disappoint you.

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4 Comments on “GM China: We Are Up!...”

  • avatar

    As far as expecting the Chinese market to tank, with all the imbalances in the entire market (not just property markets but the shadow banking etc)

    I fully expect the Chinese market to tank, but as to when? I’ve no idea. I do find it very interesting that I’ve been reading about up to 20% incentives from BWM/Audi/MB to get customers to buy their vehicles.

    When you consider that much of the Chinese consumer market currently is driven by the need to impress the others with your purchases (in about as vulgar a way as you can imagine), the fact that these Luxury car makers are giving incentives is telling.

    So while China is doing well, I certainly don’t think it’s going to last.

    In the meantime GM/Ford/Chrysler need to be grabbing as much market share as possible. So seeing good news from GM here is great. The biggest question I have is why Chrysler and Ford are so under represented here in comparison.

    And why aren’t the US manufacturers trying to dominate the SUV market here? I keep reading about how it’s the fastest growing segment of the market and yet with the exception of the Cadillac SRX I see nearly nothing of American SUV’s. Lot’s of VW, Audi, BMW, MB, Toyota, Infiniti SUV’s but nearly nothing for American brands.

    In the USA isn’t the Ford explorer still #1? Why have I not seen a single one here? Where is ford? All I see are some Mondeo’s and Focus, and Fiesta’s.

    • 0 avatar

      You ask an interesting question.

      Maybe the American makes want to emulate what the Japanese makes did in America with a lineup of more fuel efficient vehicles than larger gas guzzlers? Who knows other than GM and Ford though..

      • 0 avatar

        “Maybe the American makes want to emulate what the Japanese makes did in America with a lineup of more fuel efficient vehicles than larger gas guzzlers?”

        Are we talking about American car companies?? Fuel efficient models only.. I r a confobulated indivadual.

        Sure you are talking about the same companies that are screaming about not being able to make fuel efficient cars in the USA and want CAFE lowered?

        But ya I’ve not seen a single Ford explorer anywhere or Chevy Traverse or GMC yukon, Dodge Durango etc.

        This actually would be a great market for the full size pickup trucks that are sold in the USA also. Much more durable/rugged and reliable than the garbage you see running around here and a hell of a lot less polluting and probably better gas mileage too.

      • 0 avatar


        Who knows. In these crazy times when up is down and left is right, anything is possible.

        I’ve never been to China, but I think you are right the full size American trucks would probably sell pretty well.

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