“Chinas vehicle market continued to outpace most expectations for growth,¯ said GM China Group President and Managing Director Kevin Wale. “The market benefited from stimulus policies adopted by the Chinese government as well as growing demand for personal transportation in tier-three and tier-four cities and rural areas.¯
Wale added, “For the first time ever, GM and our joint ventures exceeded domestic sales of 100,000 vehicles in each of the first six months of the year. We continued to enjoy strong demand for many of our existing products and new models.¯
GM Chinas SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture once again registered record sales for its mini-commercial vehicles. In May, it became the first joint venture automaker in China to sell more than 100,000 vehicles in a single month. For the first six months as a whole, its sales totaled 524,598 units " an increase of 49.9 percent from the first half of 2008.
Its Wuling Sunshine minivan was Chinas most popular vehicle, with sales of 295,789 units in the first half. Demand for the Wuling Rong Guang premium minivan, which was launched a year ago, nearly topped 100,000 units, while sales of SAIC-GM-Wulings Chevrolet Spark mini-car rose 60.0 percent to 32,065 units.
Led by record demand for its Buick lineup of passenger cars, Shanghai GM also continued to see its sales rise. The GM joint venture sold 288,843 vehicles in the first six months, as Buick sales jumped 34.0 percent on an annual basis to 195,989 units. Sales of the Excelle lower-medium sedan remained solid at 115,877 units and sales of the New Regal continued to build since its introduction in December to 35,729 units in the first half. In addition, sales of Shanghai GMs Chevrolet lineup were up, with the new Cruze compact sedan getting off to a good start; 19,196 were sold in its first three months on the market.
“Vehicle sales in China are expected to remain strong in the second half of 2009,¯ said Wale. “With the all-new Buick LaCrosse premium sedan, Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, Buick New Regal 2.0 Turbo sedan and a number of other new products on the way, we expect GM China and our joint ventures to remain an engine for industry growth.¯