The forced removal of General Motors’ CEO Rick Wagoner by the Obama administration will have no impact on the company’s business in China, GM China has said.


“We and our partners are optimistic about the China market. We are very optimistic about our future development plans,” the company said in an email to China Daily Information.


The world’s largest automaker “will continue to bring world-class products and services to China to satisfy local customer demand,” it said.


As part of the process of reinventing its core brands, GM will roll out five or more new products in China under both its volume brands, Buick and Chevrolet, over the next one to two years.


The Chevrolet Volt electric car remains on target for launch in 2011, GM China said.


The company’s major investment plans, including a safety lab in Shanghai, a vehicle testing ground in Anhui province, and introduction of OnStar Telematics in-vehicle safety, security and communication services to China this year, remain on track.


Yale Zhang, director, Greater China Vehicle Forecasts for US consultancy CSM Worldwide, said: “GM’s business operations in China are healthy enough to make it go further in the next years.


“GM China and its joint ventures are on a sustainable track now, in manufacture, product line-up or sales. The still-profitable businesses here make it possible for GM to continue developing new projects in China.”


GM’s success in China owes much to Wagoner, who formulated the company’s regional strategy of “in China, with China and for China”.


“Wagoner is the one who made the China market the most important in its global strategy during the past decade,” said Zhong Shi, an independent auto analyst  in Shanghai, who is familiar with Wagoner through scores of meetings and interviews.


“His strategic decision to support GM’s investment and development in China kept the company a step ahead of its rivals, thus helping maintain its leadership position for many years,” said Zhong.


“GM’s success here was a result of Wagoner’s China-focused strategy.”


Between 2004 and 2008, Shanghai GM, the US automaker’s 50-50 joint venture with China’s SAIC Group, made a profit of RMB19.7bn (US$2.9bn).