GM’s China sales up 12% in 2014, set new record

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Tuesday the automaker and joint ventures sold a record 3.54 million vehicles in China last year, up 12 percent from the then record 3.16 million it sold in 2013.

The carmaker said it sold nearly 9,700 vehicles a day in China, which is GM’s largest sales market. In December, GM and joint ventures sold a new monthly record of 357,375 vehicles, up 31.9 percent from December 2013.

“GM performed well ahead of the overall industry in China, which was up an estimated 7.5 percent last year,” GM China President Matt Tsien said in a statement. “We experienced especially strong growth in demand in the luxury segment as well as in the SUV and MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) segments.”

Tsien said he expects industry demand in China will grow again this year. GM and its joint ventures plan to invest $14 billion in China through 2018, adding five assembly plants and two powertrain plants.

“We will continue to take advantage of the growth opportunities by expanding our unmatched lineup of vehicles and services as well as all areas of our business to ensure we remain a leader,” Tsien said in a statement.

Buick sales jumped 13.5 percent in 2014 to a record 919,518 vehicles, led by Excelle vehicles. Chevrolet brand sales also hit a record at 717,000, as sales increased by 10 percent over 2013, partly on stronger demand for the Malibu and strong sales of the Cruze and Sail.

GM said Cadillac sales also rose 47 percent in 2014, setting a new record at 73,500. The luxury brand was led by the XTS sedan’s record sales of 31,960, up 59 percent from 2013. Wuling brand sales were up 8.4 percent to nearly 1.61 million, a new record and Baojun sales also set a new record at 179,360, as sales jumped 78.5 percent from 2013.

In 2014, GM added a new Buick Envision midsize SUV, Chevrolet Trax SUV, a new Cadillac ATS-L sport sedan and a Baojun 730 family vehicle, among others. It also added dealers, particularly in third and fourth tier cities.