General Motors and Ford Motor reported sharply contrasting sales performances in China last month, according to data released individually by the US automakers.

General Motors' Chinese joint ventures reported a 1.9% drop in combined sales to 272,770 vehicles in April, resulting in a drop of 4.5% to 1,186,200 units in the first four months of the year.

GM's luxury Cadillac brand enjoyed a 98% jump in sales to 13,903 units last month while the Baojun, brand jointly owned with SAIC, reported a 58% jump in sales to 60,000 units. 

GM's larger volume brands performed negatively, however, with Buick sales falling by close to 15% to 84,162 units, while Wuling sales were down by 16% at 82,679 units. Chevrolet sales also declined last month, by 9.6% to 32,044 units.

Meanwhile, Ford's joint ventures reported combined sales of 94,000 vehicles in April, up by more than 11% year on year. But cumulative four month sales were still down, by close to 12% at 349,228 units.

Changan Ford is the company's largest joint venture in China, with sales rising by 6% to 62,382 units in April, while Jiangling Motors' sales were 15% higher at 25,404 units.

Foreign brands on the whole have underperformed in the Chinese market in recent months with consumers choosing increasingly from the growing range of domestic models which are seen to offer value for money by local buyers.

Local compact SUVs in particular have been in high demand.