GM’s Strong January in China Helps Heal Bruise from the U.S.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) suffered a bit of a setback for sales in the United States during January, but that wasn’t the case in China, where sales surged 12 percent riding on demand for its Buick vehicles, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Total sales — including units covered by GM’s joint venture partners in the country — clocked in at 348,061 units for January; Buick rose 16 percent, surpassing the 10,000 unit threshold for the first time for a single month.
Though Cadillac moved about half as many units during the period, at 5,741 vehicles, this represents about triple the sales from the same month of 2013. Chevrolet sales dipped 0.2 percent to 65,988 units, and sales of Wuling-branded vehicles, which account for almost half of General Motors’ total sales in the country, surged 13 percent to 163,886 for January.
The numbers bode well for GM, which lost the crown as the leading manufacturer in China last year to Volkswagen AG (VLKAY.PK). The Detroit-based company plans to inject $11 billion in investments into China through 2016 to construct four new assembly plants that will increase annual capacity to 5 million vehicles.
General Motors will also be bringing nine new SUV models to the country over the next half decade, presumably under a variety of nameplates, to meet the burgeoning demand for utility vehicles.