General Motors Corporation has reported that its China ventures sold 264,101 vehicles in 2002, a 325% increase over 2001.

Reuters reported that part of the rise is explained by GM’s acquisition last year of a mini-vehicle manufacturer in southern China, SAIC-GM-Wuling (which sold over 146,000 units in 2002).

However, sales at GM’s original car plant in Shanghai – which makes the Corsa-based Sail – leapt 90% to 110,763 sedans and executive wagons in 2002.

GM plans to launch four new models in China in 2003.

“Growth potential remains enormous in China. We will respond with an unprecedented series of product launches and continue to seek additional opportunities,” Phil Murtaugh, chairman and chief executive officer of GM China, said in the statement.

GM now has an overall share of 7.7 percent of China’s vehicle market, up from a mere 2.7 percent in 2001, the company said.