China's Good Business for GM

Sales increase 22.2% in July

General Motors said on August 3 that its vehicle sales in China had grown 22.2% year-on-year in July, while rival Ford reported a 6.3% decline in monthly sales in the world's biggest auto market.

GM and its Chinese joint ventures sold 176,645 vehicles in July and sales for the January-July period totaled 1.39 million units, an increase of 44.5% from the same period in 2009.

The July sales were flat compared to June's level of 176,486 vehicles.

Meanwhile, Ford said it had sold just 18,255 units last month in China, compared with 19,486 units the same month last year. Ford said its sales for the first seven months of the year were 170,053 units, up 38% from a year earlier, boosted by strong demand for the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus.

China has proved a godsend for foreign carmakers as sales in developed countries slumped following the global financial crisis. However, after overtaking the United States for the first time last year to become the world's biggest vehicle market, data shows that China's sales have started to slow in recent months as demand weakens.

The nation's auto sales in July totaled 1.06 million units, up 17.2% from a year earlier, but down 6.7% from the previous month, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on August 3.

The newspaper cited figures from the China Automotive Technology and Research Center, an industry association affiliated to China's state-owned assets watchdog.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, another quasi-official industrial group, is due to release monthly sales figure next week.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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