General Motors expects its Chinese sales next year to beat industry unit sales growth of 10 to 15%, its top executive for the country reportedly said on Wednesday.

If achieved, the sales rise would extend GM’s trend of rising market share in China, the world’s third-largest vehicle market.

“We expect industry sales to increase between 10 to 15% and we expect to perform slightly above that rate, as we expect market share to increase,” Kevin Wale told Reuters in Beijing.

The report said GM outpaced the Chinese market with a 27.8% jump in vehicle sales to 472,468 units in the first nine months of this year, giving it a market share of about 11%, up from 9.3% for calendar 2004.

Vehicle sales – including everything from cars to buses and trucks – in China in the first three quarters of the year rose 10.1% to 4.14 million units, according to the country’s official auto industry association, Reuters noted.

GM posted record first-half sales in China and expects 20%-plus growth for 2005, Wale told Reuters in July. It is closing in on long-time market leader Volkswagen.

Shipments in China this year were estimated to hit 590,000 units, versus 492,014 in 2004, Wale reportedly said then.

China has proved a godsend for struggling GM, yielding a fifth of group net earnings in the third quarter of 2004, Reuters noted.