VW Set to Sell More Cars in China Than GM for the First Time in 9 Years

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
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vw set to sell more cars in china than gm for the first time in 9 years

For the first time in nine years Volkswagen AG will likely sell more vehicles in China than General Motors, retaking the crown for the biggest foreign automaker selling cars in Chian, the world’s biggest automotive market. Both companies will sell more than 3 million cars and light trucks by the end of the year. Through November, VW is ahead by about 70,000 vehicles at 2.96 million, 17% ahead of 2012 figures. Competition is fierce between the two companies, who have planned to spend a combined $36 billion on operations in China in the near future. Last month VW said that it will be investing $25 billion over the next five years on expansion in China.

Jochem Heizmann, president and CEO of Volkswagen’s China operations, said last month that a lack of capacity prevents VW from selling even more cars in China. “You really have to understand that at present, we really have capacity problems. We could sell more.”

2014 will see VW’s Audi brand, the best selling luxury marque in China, launching a locally assembled A3 and an updated A4. Other group introductions for the Chinese market will be the VW Bora and the Skoda Octavia sedans.

One reason analysts have given for VW surging ahead is GM’s lack of new models. GM will introduce four new models in China in 2014, wearing the Chevrolet brand. SAIC-GM-Wuling will also be expanding the low coast Baojun brand with a compact hatchback and a multipurpose vehicle.

GM’s sales figures in China include the Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Opel and Baojun nameplates, along with the Wuling brand of small commercial vehicles. If you exclude Wuling from the total, the Volkswagen brand alone outsells Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac combined.

As a whole, the auto industry have done well this year. Total vehicle sales, including heavy trucks and buses, were 19.9 million units through November. This year China is likely to become the first country to ever book more than 20 million in annual vehicle sales.

In other Chinese auto sales news, Jaguar Land Rover sales are up 28% compared to the same period last year, to 83,499 on strong Evoque and Range Rover Sport sales. Sales should go up even more when local production begins next year since those cars will not be subject to the country’s 25% import duty. Volvo Car Group, owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., had sales that were up 45% from last year. Ford overtook Toyota for fifth place on the strength of the EcoSport and Kuga SUVs, and lingering hostility to Japan by Chinese unhappy over disputed islands. Ford is having a record year in China, selling 840,975 vehicles so far, up 51%. Ford’s Focus is China’s best selling car. Toyota sold 809,000 cars and light trucks, up 8% from last year.

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  • Romismak Romismak on Dec 27, 2013

    It was just matter of time, VW was growing much faster and alredy last year they came close. Actually by some rankings GM is not even 2nd but 3rd, because SGMW should be another carmaker not counting in GM, because of WUling and GM doesn´t have control interrest. Witout Wuling even Hyundai-Kia as group are bigger. Funny thing is that even VW group CHina being bigger than GM and it´s chinese JV´s, still GM is bigger manufacterer in PRC. VW is actually importing cars from Europe - AUDI´s, VW´s and Porsche´s, even some SKoda´s and Seat´s, while GM i believe imports only few Opel´s, maybe Cadillac´s but are producing even for foreing markets, Chevrolet and Wuling rebadged as Chevy´s are exporting to emerging countries. So 2013 will be interresting in fact that VW will be biggest seller in Chinese market, while GM will be biggest automaker by production

    • Romismak Romismak on Dec 27, 2013

      I disagree about RNA challenging GM, actually next year and in 2015 too GM and VW and Toyota will be top 3 easily - probably really close to each other, GM has for now advantage in CHina and US - 2 biggest market that are growing over RNA. Renault-Nissan alliance including Lada could possibly fall to 5th place if Hyundai-Kia try to go for it, for now HK are focusing on quality and improovement, they are the only major automaker who let go possible bigger sales, because of their lack of new plants, i mean they could have 1 more US plant and CHina plant and they would still use 100% capacity. So let´j s wait if Hyundai-Kia won´t decide for new plants in near future, because their cars are selling globally great, they should grow much faster, but they don´t have more capacity

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Dec 28, 2013

    I'm asking because I don't know. Is China the biggest automotive market, or only the highest volume? Two 15k cars sold isn't really twice the market of one 30k car. Is it still just the volume leader, or has it finally become the biggest automotive market?

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