GM Sales Up 22.3% in China

Last year GM's sales in China exceeded sales in U.S.

General Motors said on Feb. 9 that its sales in China, the world's largest car market, jumped 22.3% year-on-year in January to set a new monthly record.

The company said that its Chinese joint ventures sold 268,071 vehicles in the country last month, topping the previous monthly record of 230,038 set in March 2010.

GM has several joint ventures in China including Shanghai General Motors, a partnership with China's largest auto maker SAIC Motor.

GM's sales in China last year increased 28.8% year-on-year to an annual record of 2.35 million vehicles, outstripping sales in the United States for the first time.

China's booming market has become increasingly important to GM as demand weakens in the United States. China, where GM's international operations are now based, overtook the United States as the world's biggest auto market in 2009.

Auto sales in China rose more than 32% in 2010 to 18.06 million units, according to the semi-official China Association of Automobile Manufacturers(CAAM).

Analysts have said last year's growth had partially been boosted by consumers snapping up cars amid worries that Beijing would scale back stimulus policies, including tax cuts introduced to combat the financial crisis.

CAAM forecast sales and production would grow at a steadier pace this year, by 10%-15%, after purchase taxes for small cars rose to 10% and Beijing slashed the number of new registrations allowed in the capital.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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