Early Chinese New Year slows Ford, GM sales

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

February sales for Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. fell about 9 percent because of an earlier-than-usual Chinese New Year.

For weeks surrounding the holiday, the country’s manufacturing facilities shut down and production halted. That helped result in a 9 percent sales drop for Ford, and a 9.3 percent decline for GM.

The Dearborn automaker said Monday that it sold 63,350 vehicles in China last month. Sales for Changan Ford Automobile, Ford’s passenger car joint venture, fell 10 percent. Sales for Jiangling Motors Corporation, Ford’s commercial vehicle investment in China, rose 3 percent.

Despite the overall decline in passenger car sales, Ford said sales of the Escort, a Focus-based compact, rose 15 percent to 13,173.

February’s decline come after a record-setting January. For the full year, Ford’s China sales are up 18 percent compared to the first two months of 2015.

Despite GM’s sales drop, deliveries of its SUVs rose 115 percent, led by the Buick Envision and Baojun 560. Buick deliveries in February rose 16 percent to 70,764, which GM said was a record for the month.

Cadillac deliveries fell 16 percent, while Chevrolet dropped 48 percent. The Wuling brand fell 18 percent.

“This year we will continue to improve our product mix to meet the fast-changing customer demand,” GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien said in a statement. “We are on track to execute our product launch plans. New models, including the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Malibu XL, are expected to add to our growth momentum.”

MMartinez@detroitnews.com

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