SHANGHAI – Supported by unprecedented demand for all of their major brands, General Motors and its joint ventures sold a record 2,836,128 vehicles in China in 2012. Sales increased 11.3 percent from 2011.
“GM remained a leader in our company’s largest market in spite of a downturn in the commercial vehicle segment, where GM has a significant presence,” said Bob Socia, President, GM China, and Chief Country Operations Officer, China, India and ASEAN. “We benefited from a broad portfolio of models that are meeting the diverse needs of vehicle buyers across China.”
Domestic sales by Shanghai GM rose 10.9 percent last year to a record 1,331,022 units. SAIC-GM-Wuling sold 1,445,203 units in China, an increase of 12.4 percent and an all-time high as well. FAW-GM’s domestic sales were down 0.9 percent to 55,609 units.
Buick sales in China increased 8.4 percent on an annual basis, finishing 2012 at a year-end high of 700,007 units. The brand was supported by ongoing strong demand for the original Excelle family, whose sales grew 9.3 percent to 277,071 units, and the Excelle XT and GT, whose sales were up 28.6 percent to 173,312 units. The Encore SUV got off to a strong start following its launch in October, with sales of 10,015 units.
Chevrolet likewise set a record for domestic sales, as demand increased 5.3 percent from 2011 to 626,846 units. Its most popular model was the Cruze, which generated sales growth of 5.2 percent to 232,592 units. Right behind it was the Sail, which had sales of 218,090 units, an increase of 30.8 percent. The brand’s newest model in China, the Malibu, had sales of 51,926 units.
Cadillac sales in China were up slightly in 2012 from the previous year to a record 30,010 units. GM’s luxury brand was led by the SRX, which sold 21,698 units – an increase of 8.9 percent.
Wuling sales in the domestic market rose 11.8 percent year on year to 1,334,895 units, which was also a new annual high. The Sunshine minivan, its best-selling model for the past nine years, surpassed half a million unit sales for the fourth consecutive year. Baojun had sales of 84,467 units in its first full year in the marketplace.
In addition, exports by GM’s manufacturing joint ventures to other emerging markets grew 61.0 percent last year to 77,207 units. The Sail accounted for about 80 percent. This took Shanghai GM’s total sales in 2012 to 1,392,658 units, SAIC-GM-Wuling’s sales to 1,459,988 units and FAW-GM’s sales to 56,395 units.
During December, GM and its joint ventures sold a record 242,486 vehicles in the domestic market, an increase of 23.2 percent on an annual basis. Shanghai GM’s domestic sales increased 41.7 percent to 110,135 units, while SAIC-GM-Wuling’s sales in China were up 11.7 percent to 126,730 units. Both were December records. FAW-GM’s sales were down 0.1 percent to 5,264 units.
“GM continued to look to the future in China in 2012,” said Socia. “We introduced several new and upgraded products, grew our manufacturing footprint, and expanded our R&D and product development capability.”
The Chevrolet Malibu and Buick Encore were among the new models that GM began offering in China last year. Shanghai OnStar rolled out a range of new services for Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac owners, helping the joint venture become the first telematics service provider in China with more than 500,000 subscribers.
Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling both expanded the capacity at several of their existing manufacturing facilities. In addition, Shanghai GM broke ground for its fourth manufacturing base in Wuhan, Hubei. SAIC-GM-Wuling opened its new passenger car production facility near its headquarters in Liuzhou, Guangxi, and announced plans to build a third production base in Chongqing Municipality.
Meanwhile, GM continued to expand the dealership networks of all of its brands, with a focus on China’s tier 3 and tier 4 cities. GM ended 2012 with about 3,800 dealerships nationwide.
To support the ongoing development of products for China and the world, GM’s Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint venture opened a climate wind tunnel in Shanghai, and GM China and its partner SAIC joined Shanghai GM and PATAC in opening the Guangde Proving Ground in Anhui province. The GM China Advanced Technical Center recorded milestones in lightweight materials and electric vehicle battery development during its first full year of operation, while opening its second phase in November.
GM maintained its support for a greener, safer and healthier community in China as well. Among the key programs launched last year were the GM Restoring Nature’s Habitat Project, which is protecting important wetlands; the 2012 GM Safe Road Project, which educated young families about the importance of using safety equipment in vehicles; and the Back to 100 Rural Hospitals and SAIC-GM-Wuling Motorcade initiatives, which are assisting with health care in rural areas.
General Motors traces its roots back to 1908. GM has 12 joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign enterprises and more than 55,000 employees in China. GM and its joint ventures offer the broadest lineup of vehicles and brands among automakers in China. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles are sold under the Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang, Opel and Wuling brands. In 2012, GM sold more than 2.8 million vehicles in China. It has been the sales leader among global automakers in the market for several years. More information on General Motors in China can be found at GM Media Online. Click here to see GM China's milestones in 2012.