GM sells record 3.87M vehicles in China in 2016

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Thursday its sales in China rose 7.1 percent last year to set a new annual sales record in the country, its largest sales market.

The Detroit automaker and its joint ventures sold 3.87 million vehicles last year, as GM’s Cadillac, Buick and Baojun brands all set sales records in China. The 2016 results break the previous record set last year and accounted for a third of GM’s total global sales.

“GM worked closely with our joint venture partners to achieve launch excellence across all brands in the past year,” GM China President Matt Tsien said in a statement. “In 2017, we will continue to listen to our customers’ needs and meet their demands with a strong product lineup.”

Cadillac sales totaled 116,406 vehicles, up 46 percent helped by the launch of the CT6 sedan and XT5 crossover. Buick sales hit a new record of 1.18 million, up 19 percent from 2015 totals, aided by the Envision SUV and Excelle GT sedan. Baojun deliveries totaled 688,390, up 49 percent.

For the second straight year, Chevrolet sales fell. Chevy sold a total of 525,273 vehicles in 2015, down 14.2 percent from 2015, which the company blamed model changeover for the decline. Chevy plans to launch more than 20 new or refreshed vehicles in China by the end of 2020.

Wuling brand sales also slipped for the second straight year to 1.36 million from nearly 1.47 million in 2015 as GM said the segment is contracting.

In 2016, GM launched 13 new or significantly refreshed vehicles in China as it works to launch 60 vehicles through 2020. About 40 percent will be SUVs and multi-purpose vehicles.

Last year, GM said SUV sales jumped 45 percent in China to 673,409 vehicles.

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