GM To Send $900M In Exports To China

SHANGHAI (AP) -- General Motors Co. says it plans to export $900 million in vehicles and parts to China under a two-year agreement signed with its flagship joint venture, Shanghai GM.

The agreement was among various trade and investment deals signed in connection with Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States, the company said in a release Sunday.

Vehicle exports will be worth $500 million and components worth $400 million under the agreement. The amount of GM's current exports, excluding the deal, was not immediately available.

"We are committed to working with both countries to promote bilateral trade," Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group.

China overtook the U.S. to become the world's biggest auto market, by sales of new vehicles, in 2009. Last year, passenger car sales rose by a third to 13.7 million vehicles, while total vehicle sales topped 18 million.

GM's strong growth in China and other fast growing emerging markets has proven a lifeline in tough times, helping to offset lagging growth in the U.S. and Europe.

Shanghai GM sold 1.03 million vehicles in China last year, as the country's leading passenger car maker. Overall, GM and its joint ventures sold 2.35 million vehicles in China in 2010, up nearly 29 percent from a year earlier.

During the summit between Hu and President Barack Obama, China announced $45 billion in contracts and said it would increase its investments in the U.S. by several billion dollars -- deals that Obama said will support 235,000 American jobs.

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