SAIC's December Sales Lackluster, No Good Omen For GM

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

December sales in GM’s largest market China are likely to be less than exhilarating. The indicator: GM’s Chinese joint venture partner SAIC told Reuters that its December auto sales rose 7.1 percent from a year earlier to 350,380 vehicles.

This is much less than the 16.9 percent growth achieved in November. In the same month, GM’s China sales were up 9.7 percent.

December usually is a strong month for car sales in China, any slacking off is seen as a bad sign.

Translating SAIC’s numbers into GM takes a little work, and it won’t be perfect. SAIC more or less makes half of its sales with GM products, and half with Volkswagen units. SAIC’s own brands hardly register. In 2012, Shanghai GM sold 1.39 million vehicles, up 13.1 percent from a year earlier. Sales at Shanghai Volkswagen rose 9.8 percent to 1.28 million vehicles.

Executives at major carmakers in China have a cautious outlook for 2013, Reuters says. Most expect slow single-digit growth, a repeat of 2012. They blame the economy, the Japan row, and restrictions of cars sales in major Chinese cities.

Remember: What’s bad for China is bad for GM. (And the rest of them.) GM is expected to report December China sales this coming week.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Gentle Ted Gentle Ted on Jan 04, 2013

    Don't really know much about the Market for any Vehicle in China but here in Canada our Federal Government decided to open up there Purse strings in awarding 250 million dollars to Ford of Canada in Oakville,interesting times!

    • Jon Fage Jon Fage on Jan 04, 2013

      Did our Feds not give a whole bunch of cash to GM, only to have the General ship production from Oshawa, Ontario down to America? With the Canadian dollar at a higher value than the US dollar, hopefully Ford will not shift production from Oakville; with St. Thomas gone, there's little other Ford assembly in Canada. BTW, Ford finished first in sales in Canada for 2012. Chrysler was second and GM was behind.

  • Sunridge place Sunridge place on Jan 04, 2013

    Translation...we really don't know how sales are going to be in China for GM...but we need to hit our quota of one omnious headline per day related to here's a story.

    • See 2 previous
    • D524zoom-zoom D524zoom-zoom on Jan 05, 2013

      @d524zoom-zoom I have no doubt that he knows more about the subject presented than either you or I do. That was not my point. Please re-read what I wrote. Thank you