General Motors and its joint ventures delivered a record 3,870,587 vehicles in China in 2016, which was an increase of 7.1% from the previous high in 2015. China remained GM’s largest market in terms of retail sales for the fifth consecutive year, accounting for more than one-third of the company’s global sales. For comparison, GM brands reported retail sales in the US of 2,446,582 vehicles for CY 2016.
Last year, GM launched 13 new and refreshed models in China, putting it on track to fulfill its plan to introduce 60 models through 2020. It is focused on the luxury, SUV and MPV segments. About 40% of GM’s product launches in China through 2020 will be SUVs and MPVs.
GM’s strategy in China follows the company’s two-pronged strategy to strengthen and grow its core business, and to define and lead the future of personal mobility by creating new technology and business models.
With successful launches of the CT6 prestige sedan and XT5 luxury crossover last year, Cadillac deliveries topped 100,000 units in China for the first time—increasing 46% year over year to 116,406 units.
Buick posted record sales, supported by popular products like the Excelle GT sedan and Envision SUV. This drove the brand's sales to a new high of 1,180,372 units, an increase of 19% on an annual basis.
Chevrolet deliveries, after a rebound starting in the third quarter, reached 525,273 units in 2016. The newly launched Malibu XL, Cruze and Cavalier sedans drove the brand through its model changeover period. GM announced in October that Chevrolet will introduce more than 20 new or refreshed products in China by the end of 2020.
Baojun enjoyed robust momentum in 2016 with strong products like the 730 MPV and 560 SUV, supplemented by the successful launch of the Baojun 310 hatchback. The brand’s annual deliveries rose 49% to a record 688,390 units.
Wuling maintained its dominant position in the mini-commercial vehicle market last year, though its growth was hampered by continued segment contraction. Wuling deliveries totaled 1,359,638 units.
In 2016, GM’s SUV deliveries surged 45% from a year earlier to 673,409 units. Its SUV portfolio includes the Buick Envision and Baojun 560, which were among the segment leaders with year-on-year growth of 52% and 116% respectively.
In the MPV segment, GM’s sales increased 5% to 1,061,156 units in 2016. The new-generation GL8 reached the market in November, setting a new benchmark for large luxury MPVs.
In 2016, GM reiterated its strategy to define and lead in personal mobility through the four pillars of alternative propulsion, connectivity, autonomous driving and sharing.
GM launched three models with electrification technology in the domestic market in 2016: the Buick LaCrosse Hybrid, Chevrolet Malibu XL Hybrid and Cadillac CT6 Plug-In. In addition, GM will fully localize its battery packs for new energy vehicles via investment in a battery assembly plant in Shanghai through SAIC-GM.
In 2016, GM was one of the first automakers to demonstrate the interoperability of a China connected vehicle (V2X) application layer standard. It also demonstrated eight safety applications for its latest intelligent and connected vehicle (ICV) technology applications at the National Intelligent and Connected Vehicle Pilot Zone in Shanghai.
GM is one of the authors of the China Intelligent and Connected Vehicle Road Map, which provides a guideline for the research and development activities of manufacturers and future policy development. The Road Map was released in October.
At the end of 2016, Shanghai OnStar had nearly 1 million active users in China. It has offered customer interaction service more than 300 million times over the years. By 2020, all Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet models will be connected in China.
Starting from January 1, 2017, all new vehicles featuring OnStar in China are enjoying five years of free basic service, up from one year, providing users a smart transportation solution and a connected lifestyle.