By on March 5, 2013

Today, GM did something highly unusual: It abandoned all spin and said that sales in China were down pretty much across the board in February: “General Motors and its joint ventures sold 215,070 vehicles in China during February. Sales were down 10.6 percent from the same month last year due to the week-long Lunar New Year holiday falling in February this year.” We at TTAC understand.

GM China February 2013
Jan’13 YoY 2M’13 YoY
GM China 215,070 -10.6% 525,835 7.9%
Shanghai GM 101,023 -2.0% 255,243 12.4%
Buick 52,340 -0.8% 138,849 12.1%
Chevrolet 46,388 -11.5% 112,529 5.4%
Cadillac 2,295 8.1% 3,865 -24.4%
SAIC-GM-Wuling 110,193 -15.4% 262,012 4.7%
Wuling 104,138 -11.7% 248,939
Baojun 6,055 -24.5% 13,073
FAW-GM 3,670 -48.1% 8,160 -14.1%
Black: GM data. Blue: Calculated from historical GM data

GM also did the right and sensible thing, namely to add January and February up. For the first two months, GM’s sales in China are up 7.9 percent, which is pretty good.  The number would even be better, would results not continue to be dragged down by a still laggardly Wuling. Shanghai GM’s sales, i.e. those of Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac, are up 12.1 percent.

The Baojun brand was launched in February 2012, which makes that Jan/Feb comparison looks a little too rosy.

All in all, a good start, and a good early indicator of the health of the Chinese auto market, which had been shrouded in Chinese New Year fog for months.

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11 Comments on “Good Sign: GM China Sales Down Only 10.6 Percent In China...”

  • avatar

    Are those figures correct? I ask because Shanghai GM is up 12.4% YoY (Jan and Feb) but none of the component brands get to that growth (12.1, 5.4 and -24.4), so the average would be lower.
    Also for SAIC-GM-Wuling the reported growth is 4.7% but the two component brands have 35.9 and 63.1% – so the weighted average would be much higher than 4.7%
    Also should the second column be labeled February not January?

    • 0 avatar

      Basically, yes. Comparing the figures to GM China’s own sales releases from last year, there are some differences, but that could be explained by them adjusting their own numbers internally throughout the remainder of 2012 due to new information.

      Chevrolet sold 106,806 in January & February of 2012, so 112,529 this year is a 5.4% increase.

      Buick sold 123,834 in Jan-Feb 2012, so 138,849 would be a 12.1% increase.

      Cadillac’s 3,865 this year versus 5,111 last year is indeed a 24.4% decline.

      There are some oddities though, GM’s original sales figures from last year showed over 17,000 Baojun deliveries, which would mean that they should have showed a decline for the same period this year, not an increase. I’m guessing some of those originally reported sales wound up being somehow retracted later on in the year.

      • 0 avatar

        The second column says 2M’13 as in two months 2013 ….

        There was a mistake in the Wuling percentage

        Baojun had 8,017 in February 2012, but none in January, launch in Feb. I took both percentages out, too confusing. The 4.7% is their number.

        • 0 avatar

          GM’s media release from Feb. 7th, 2012 claimed 9,006 Baojun sales in January last year, most of which were no doubt due to dealers stocking up on inventory for the launch.

          What you had seems totally right, you have to work with what GM China gives you and if there’s some variation in their numbers, that’s just how it is.

  • avatar

    I want those trunk emblems…

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed! Here’s an idea: secretly put them on a coworker’s Buick, especially if he’s real proud of his car! :)

      • 0 avatar

        19 yuan for the word “Shanghai” and 12 yuan for the letters “GM”, so about $4.00US total from TaoBao (Chinese Ebay):

        • 0 avatar

          Oh I am on it. Thanks!

          • 0 avatar

            The fun continues with OEM badges for Guangzhou Honda:



            Beijing JEEP (the BJC logo would look great on an old Cherokee, which was at one point manufactured under license in China):


            FAW Mazda6:


    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Bill

      I want them too – my thoughts exactly…

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    @mike978- your math is correct. In the first two months of 2012, GM reported fewer SGM sales, 227,170 than the total Buick-Chev-Cad totals of 235,746 they reported. This year those totals are the same.

    The discrepancy is 8,576 units, which makes the B-C-C total increase only 8.3% vs the 12.4% reported for SGM.

    I have no idea why the counts are different.

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