GM Pushes Forward After Volkswagen Wins China

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Unfortunately, rumors of GM’s (NYSE:GM) fall in China were not greatly exaggerated. Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) fulfilled analysts’ expectations in claiming the sales crown during a brisk 2013 in China, the world’s largest auto market. Despite the prospect of increased regulations designed to rein in runaway air pollution in the country, both automakers are ramping up investments in China to supply products to a still-growing clientele.

According to Blooomberg, Volkswagen’s overall sales hit 3.27 million vehicles in China in 2013, which bested GM’s total of 3.16 million automobiles. It was the first time GM fell from first place in eight years. The Audi badge was especially productive among VW brands as it posted gains of 21 percent over the company’s 2012 stats. GM’s stars were its Cadillac and Buick brands, which helped the automaker gain 11 percent during 2013 in China.

China’s banner year 

No consumer base has ever bought automobiles on the level of China’s residents in 2013. Auto purchases hit the unprecedented mark of 20 million units and kept barreling forward to nearly 22 million sales by year’s end. To put the number in perspective, the top year of U.S. auto sales had consumers purchasing 17.3 million vehicles in 2000. Every major automaker found reason to celebrate its year in China.

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