General Motors has posted a 35 percent rise in China sales to 665,390 vehicles in 2005, exceeding the combined 564,300 units sold by Volkswagen’s two Chinese joint ventures. GM outpaced its European rival as well as overall sales growth in the world’s third-largest vehicle market.
An exact comparison was difficult because of differences in the way the companies report sales. General Motors figures include sales from a commercial vehicle tie-up that markets a local brand while VW figures do not include imports. According to analysts, a more diversified slate of vehicles had helped GM, which has been gaining on VW in China for years. The improvement in sales provides much-needed momentum for the beleaguered U.S. auto maker that has been losing market share in its home market.
General Motors has reported vehicle sales dropped by 10.2 percent in December as its key Chevrolet and GMC lines saw sharp declines. The company sold 381,854 vehicles during December, excluding heavy commercial trucks and its Saab brand. That’s down from 425,303 vehicles last December.
GM is the world’s largest automaker and expects to produce 1.25 million vehicles in the first quarter of 2006, consisting of 505,000 cars and 745,000 trucks.