GM Aims to Double China Sales

China sales are up 24.6% from last year

General Motors said on April 9 that it has "abundant cash" to finance production expansion to double its sales in China over the next five years.

"We are very confident that we can double our sales in five years, as we have got very good plans to introduce new products and (expand) production capacity," said Sophia Luan, GM China's Shanghai-based spokeswoman.

Sales in China have remained buoyant for GM, which together with its Chinese joint ventures, set a new company monthly record in March of 137,004 units sold, up 24.6% from a year ago. "Therefore we are still profitable and have abundant cash so we can afford production expansion," said Luan.

While cutting capacity in the U.S.,in December the company opened a new joint venture factory in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang that was expected to soon begin mass production of the compact Chevrolet Cruze.

The company is also in talks with China's FAW Group to form a partnership to set up a light commercial vehicle joint venture.

China's car sales hit a monthly record of 1.08 million units last month, outstripping the U.S. as the world's largest market for a third month running on the back of government incentives to boost domestic consumption. These measures included slashing purchase taxes on small vehicles and subsidizing buying alternative energy vehicles.

In 2008, GM sold more than 1.09 million vehicles in China, 6.1% higher than 2007.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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