- Retail sales increase 4.4 percent to 4.04 million vehicles
- Cadillac, Buick and Baojun sales reach all-time highs
- China becomes Cadillac’s largest market
- Chevrolet achieves double-digit growth in second half
SHANGHAI – General Motors and its joint ventures sold more than 4 million vehicles in China for the first time in 2017. Retail sales totaled 4,040,789 units, which was up 4.4 percent from the previous high in 2016.
China was GM’s largest retail market for the sixth consecutive year. The company benefited from record domestic sales by the Cadillac, Buick and Baojun brands.
“Consumers’ trust in our brands will help us achieve sustainable and high-quality growth going forward,” said Matt Tsien, GM executive vice president and president of GM China. “We will continue to bring the right products and technology to market to meet increasingly diverse demands for personal mobility.”
In 2017, GM added 18 new and refreshed models in China. The improved product mix contributed to robust performance across segments – especially SUVs and luxury vehicles. GM’s SUV sales in China surged 37 percent last year.
Cadillac, which has had 22 months in a row of double-digit sales growth, posted a sales increase of 51 percent to 175,489 units in 2017. Leading the way were the XT5 luxury SUV, ATS-L sport sedan and new XTS luxury sedan. Last year, China surpassed the United States as the brand’s largest retail market for the first time.
Buick, GM’s best-selling brand in China, had sales exceeding 1.18 million units. Buick’s leading position in the mainstream passenger car market was strengthened by seven product launches in 2017. They included the GL6 MPV and Excelle GX wagon, which feature GM’s new highly efficient Ecotec 1.0T and 1.3T turbocharged engines.
Chevrolet continued its resurgence in China, with double-digit growth in the second half of the year. Its sales for 2017 as a whole were up 4.2 percent to 547,561 units. The Equinox global SUV, a key driver of the brand’s portfolio upgrade since its introduction in April, established itself in one of the most competitive market segments. Sales of the Malibu family, Chevrolet’s flagship sedan, rose 51 percent and accounted for about 22 percent of the brand’s deliveries.
Baojun sales in 2017 jumped 45 percent to 996,629 units. Its strong momentum was led by the 510 small SUV, which was launched in February and became the brand’s best-selling nameplate in 2017. The 310 Wagon was a segment trailblazer that added to the brand’s allure. Baojun also benefited from making automatic transmissions available across its mainstream lineup ahead of its entry-level rivals.
Wuling sustained its leadership of the mini-commercial vehicle segment. Deliveries totaled nearly 1.14 million units despite the segment’s contraction. The brand broadened its presence in China’s passenger car market, as the Hong Guang S3 MPV joined the popular Hong Guang family.
GM accelerated its drive to zero emissions with the launch of the Buick Velite 5 extended-range electric vehicle and Baojun E100 electric vehicle in 2017. These products fortified the company’s unmatched lineup of domestically built electrified passenger vehicles.
The first technical standard designed for the connected vehicle application layer in China, developed by a working group with GM’s active participation, was officially released in September to guide the industry toward a future of zero crashes and zero congestion. Super Cruise driver assist technology reached the final stage of feature verification in China with local partners and will soon be available in the domestic market. GM’s two-year vehicle-sharing pilot program with Shanghai Jiao Tong University concluded, providing valuable learnings for the exploration of new mobility business models.