GM and Ford have both posted large sales increases in China in 2011.
General Motors and its joint ventures sold a record 2,547,171 vehicles in China in 2011, up 8.3 percent from the previous high of 2,351,610 vehicles sold in 2010.
Ford China’s 2011 sales broke the half-million mark with 519,390 wholesale vehicles sold, compared to 483,288 in 2010, an increase of 7 percent. Strong December sales buoyed 2011 growth, with 49,238 wholesale vehicles sold, up 10 percent from 44,652 last year.
GM’s Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling joint ventures along with all of its passenger car brands experienced record domestic demand, enabling GM to claim that it remains the sales leader among global automakers in China for the seventh consecutive year.
“GM stayed ahead of the competition despite a slowdown in the growth of industry demand thanks to our broad portfolio of appealing vehicles,” said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group. “GM and our joint ventures introduced 12 new models in 2011 while expanding our manufacturing and product development capability to meet rising demand.”
Shanghai GM was China’s passenger car sales leader in 2011. It sold 1,200,355 vehicles in the domestic market, an increase of 16.2 percent from 2010. SAIC-GM-Wuling was the domestic sales leader among mini-commercial vehicle manufacturers. It sold 1,285,820 vehicles in China last year, a rise of 4.8 percent on an annual basis. FAW-GM sold 56,132 vehicles in China in its second full year of doing business.
Among GM brands, Buick sold a record 645,537 vehicles, an increase of 17.4 percent year on year. It benefited from record demand of 253,514 units for its Excelle passenger car lineup. In addition, sales of the Excelle XT hatchback and Excelle GT sedan reached 134,800 units, and sales of the LaCrosse sedan totaled 103,366 units.
In 2011, Chevrolet sales in China rose 9.4 percent year on year to an all-time high of 595,068 units. The Cruze sedan remained the brand’s best-selling model, generating sales of 221,196 units. It was followed by the New Sail family, with 166,693 sales.
Cadillac also made the record book on sales of 30,008 units in 2011, an increase of 72.8 percent from the previous year, as sales of the SRX luxury utility vehicle totaled nearly 20,000 units. GM’s imported Opel brand had sales of 4,864 units, up 51.1 percent from 2010. The new Antara SUV was the best-selling Opel model in China.
The Wuling brand generated all-time domestic sales of 1,193,708 units, for 3.9 percent growth. The Sunshine minivan accounted for 48.0 percent of Wuling sales. The new Baojun passenger car brand, which entered the market in August 2011, ended the year with sales of 21,854 units.
“This year will be equally promising for GM in China,” said Wale. “We expect the market for both passenger and commercial vehicles to continue to expand, particularly in China’s Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities. With our leading sales position and the strong performance of our brands, GM is well positioned to capitalise on the growth opportunities.”
Ford was also upbeat about prospects.
“Our strong sales performance in 2011 shows that Ford is on track to deliver on its promise to bring 15 new vehicles to China by 2015,” said David Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China.
“Ford expects sustainable growth moving forward in China. To keep up with market demand, Ford together with its partners are currently adding four new plants in China, including a vehicle assembly plant in Chongqing that will come online in 2012.”
Ford's passenger vehicle joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) sold 320,658 wholesale Ford-brand vehicles in 2011, growing 5 percent from 304,104 units last year. CFMA sold 30,788 wholesale Ford-brand passenger vehicles in December, increasing 4 percent from 29,708 units in 2010.
Ford said its Mondeo set a sales record in December for the second month in a row, selling 8,095 wholesale vehicles, up 76 percent from the previous year - the highest number sold since Mondeo was introduced into China in 2007.
Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC) achieved a total sales figure of 194,588 wholesale vehicles, up 9 percent from 178,999 units last year. Ford said JMC’s strong performance was led by a surge in demand for the Ford Transit - annual Ford Transit sales reached 58,595 wholesale vehicles, an increase of 12 percent on the previous year.
Annual sales of Ford-brand wholesale vehicles reached 383,397 in 2011, up 8 percent from 356,647 units in 2010.