General Motors has established a used car joint venture with its Chinese partner SAIC to expand into a largely untapped segment of what has become the world's largest auto market.

The joint venture, which GM says is the first of its kind in China, will offer used GM brands as well as selected models from other carmakers.

The new venture will set up about 20 facilities across China within the next five years, which would acquire, repair and certify used cars for resale, GM China said.

Kevin Wale, president and managing director of GM China, said: "There is currently no standardised system for the sale of previously owned vehicles in China. Our new joint venture is adopting unified nationwide standards for the sale and service of used cars."

GM currently has nine other joint ventures with SAIC in China including Shanghai GM. The country overtook the United States last year to become the world's biggest auto market.

GM and its Chinese partners expect to sell more than 2m cars there this year after selling a record 1.83m in 2009.