GM Posts Record Sales in Asia

Sales in the region rose 2.7%

General Motors may be fighting bankruptcy on plunging sales at home but its cars are selling at record levels Asia. The company announced on Jan. 9 that it set a new company record for vehicle sales in the Asia Pacific region in 2008. Its sales in the region rose 2.7% from the previous year to 1,475,093 units.

A further 766,400 vehicles and 599,080 complete knockdown (CKD), or unassembled vehicle sets were exported from the region to other parts of the world.

"GM once again outperformed the Asia Pacific market as a whole despite the global economic downturn and credit shortage, which affected most country markets and major automakers in the second half of 2008," said Nick Reilly, GM group vice president. "We benefited from rising demand for our products in the regions key emerging markets," said Reilly, who is also GM Asia Pacific president.

In China, domestic sales of GM and its joint ventures rose 6.1%to a record 1,094,561 units, the company said.

GM was led by increasing demand for products from the Chevrolet and Wuling brands, which registered double digit sales growth.

Sales in India increased 9.4%to 65,702 units in 2008, a new record for GM, once again led by the Chevrolet Spark mini-car, which accounted for nearly half of sales. It also was helped by the start of regular production at GMs second vehicle manufacturing facility in India, the 140,000-unit Talegaon plant, in September.

GM also saw sales in Japan rising 32% to 10,865 vehicles in 2008, benefiting from a strategy that focused on offering selected products from the Cadillac, Saab and HUMMER brands.

GM registered modest sales growth in Indonesia and the Philippines while in Vietnam, sales jumped 45.6% to a new record in that country.

"GM remains optimistic about the future in Asia Pacific," said Reilly. "We continue to invest in the regions emerging and mature markets to ensure our continued growth in one of the worlds most vibrant regions."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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