General Motors’ vehicle sales in China rose 28.8% to a record 2,351,610 units in 2010. Its manufacturing joint ventures and major brands all set new annual sales marks, enabling GM to remain the leader among global automakers in its largest market (US sales crested 2.2 million units in 2010 but fell short of the China total) for the sixth consecutive year.
GM became the first global automaker to sell more than 2 million vehicles in China in a single year earlier in 2010. (Earlier post.) Shanghai GM became China’s first passenger car maker to sell 1 million vehicles annually and ended 2010 with domestic sales of 1,033,307 vehicles, representing year-on-year growth of 42.0%. SAIC-GM-Wuling’s domestic sales grew 15.6% on an annual basis to 1,226,860 units. It captured about 40% of China’s mini-commercial vehicle segment. GM’s light-duty commercial vehicle joint venture, FAW-GM, sold 88,224 trucks in China in its first full year of doing business.
|“ Over the next 12 months, GM will continue to grow our presence in China through the introduction of cutting-edge products like the Chevrolet Volt and the start of sale of the Baojun passenger car brand. We will also continue to grow our manufacturing capability while addressing the sustainable development of China’s automotive industry. This is all part of our ongoing commitment to working in China, with China, for China.”|
|—Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group|
Chevrolet experienced domestic sales growth of 63.4% in 2010 to 543,709 vehicles. Leading the way for the brand was the Cruze compact sedan, which had sales of 187,737 units. Demand was also strong for the New Sail small car family, which generated sales of 125,652 units following its introduction in January.
Buick sales rose 23.0% in 2010 to a new high of 550,010 vehicles. The brand benefited from the expansion of its Excelle lower-medium passenger car family. With the arrival of the Excelle GT sedan and XT hatchback, sales for the model totaled 304,142 units. Two other Buick models—the New Regal and LaCROSSE—dominated China’s upper-medium sedan segment, with combined sales of 183,713 units. In December, Shanghai GM began taking orders for the all-new Buick GL8 luxury MPV.
Cadillac had record sales of 17,366 vehicles in 2010. It was led by all-time demand of 9,192 units for the SRX luxury SUV and 5,200 units for the locally manufactured SLS luxury business sedan.
Wuling sales in China rose 14.8% year on year to 1,149,060 units, also a new record. The Sunshine minivan was the best-selling vehicle in China for the eighth consecutive year, on sales of 668,783 units. Rong Guang minivan sales were strong as well, totaling 335,952 units.
Shanghai OnStar Telematics, which began offering in-vehicle safety, security and communication services in December 2009, ended 2010 with more than 171,000 subscribers. It set a record in December 2010 for new subscriptions. Throughout the year, it answered more than 2.5 million calls, made 867 emergency responses and recovered 79 stolen cars in China.
GMAC-SAIC remained China’s leader in automotive financing, providing services to 450,000 customers. It also provided wholesale service to 620 Shanghai GM dealers and retail credit service to all Shanghai GM dealers.
FAW-GM launched its third manufacturing facility and first pickup. Its plant in Changchun complements the joint venture’s plants in Heilongjiang and Yunnan provinces, and serves as the new home of FAW-GM. The facility will commence regular production in 2011.
In 2010, GM launched its tenth joint venture with SAIC in China. Shanghai Chengxin Used Car Operation and Management Co. has taken the partners and their Shanghai GM joint venture into the second-hand vehicle market.
Ground was broken in July 2010 for the GM China Advanced Technical Center. The new facility adjacent to the GM International Operations and GM China Headquarters in Shanghai will develop advanced vehicle designs and technology solutions for GM on a domestic and global basis.
GM and its joint ventures extended their development of products locally. At the beginning of the year, Shanghai GM introduced the Chevrolet New Sail. Created by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), it was the first passenger car developed in China by a Sino-foreign joint venture. Shanghai GM and PATAC also developed the all-new Buick GL8 luxury MPV, which goes on sale in 2011.
SAIC-GM-Wuling introduced the Baojun brand and its first model, the Baojun 630, which will reach consumers this year. It also rolled out the locally developed Wuling Hong Guang, China’s first compact business vehicle.
GM further broadened its relationship with strategic partner SAIC by signing a new agreement for the joint development of new powertrains, as well as a memorandum of understanding to explore cooperation in new energy vehicles and engineering and design.