General Motors may be a long ways from getting back on its feet in the US, but in another country, the Detroit-based manufacturer is standing tall.
Despite a tenuous hold on the US auto market, GM can take comfort in the fact that they’re Chinese consumer base has more than picked up the slack, accounting for a whopping 814,442 vehicles in sales in the first six months of 2009.
It doesn’t come as the least bit surprising to us to see China establish themselves as the world’s leading auto market. After all, the country still comprises about 1/6th of the entire world’s population so naturally, that many people would entail a lot of customers too. GM also benefited through a number of stimulus policies the Chinese government has implemented, allowing foreign brands to import their products easier.
"China’s vehicle market continued to outpace most expectations for growth,” said Kevin Wale, GM China President. “Of course, the growing demand for personal transportation in (smaller) cities and rural areas has helped spike up the demand as well.”
The 814,442 vehicles sold in the first six months of the year includes GM cars and its local partners, the most popular of which is the Wuling Sunshine microvan with 195,789 vehicle sold in the first half of 2009.
The China sales tally includes 295,789 Wuling Sunshine microvans, making it the country’s most popular vehicle. The Sunshine is made by the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture, a partnership with China’s largest carmaker, Shanghai Auto. The entire Wuling range accounted for 524,598 sales in the first half, up 50 percent from the year-earlier period.
As far as US cars are concerned, GM’s Buick was the pace-setter in terms of sales, having sold 195,989 cars in the first half of 2009 – a spike of 34% from its 2008 numbers. In addition to the Buick brand, the new Chevrolet Cruze also showed surprising results, having sold over 19,000 cars since it was rolled in April of this year.