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Strong China sales spur automakers' global success (2)

(China Daily)

08:40, February 16, 2013

"China's been very critical for GM," said David Zoia, editorial director of WardsAuto, an industry information website. "During the 2009 downturn and bankruptcy, when things were at their worst in North America, China was carrying the ball for GM. The potential that is still there makes it even more critical to them."

Zoia pointed out that GM achieved its status as the top-selling foreign automaker in China despite entering the market after Volkswagen. He credited the US company's Chinese joint ventures, which accounted for 9.1 percent of international revenue in the fourth quarter, up from 8.4 percent, according to GM.

China sold 19.1 million passenger vehicles in 2012, for the first time overtaking Europe in total vehicle sales and now in pole position after passing the United States in 2009.

Last year, European passenger vehicle sales reached 12.5 million units, 1.1 million fewer than a year earlier, and the US registered 13 percent year-on-year sales growth, the best since 2008, but it still lagged just behind the Chinese market after selling 14.5 million units.

Analysts said China's vehicle market will continue to grow. By 2020, the number is expected to rise to 33 million.

The market could be as big as Europe and the US combined, Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, head of vehicle research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, predicted earlier in January.

"It's a huge market, and one nobody can ignore," Zoia said of China. "All companies have their eyes on it."

While GM has racked up Chinese sales with its Chevrolet and Buick nameplates, it is making a deeper push into the luxury market there. Last year, it introduced China to the Cadillac XTS luxury cruiser, which targets a more upscale buyer. GM has said it will produce some of the vehicles locally through its joint venture partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.

【1】 【2】 【3】

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangBeibei、Yao Chun)

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