China: GM sales up 13.4 percent image

General Motors and its joint ventures in China set an August sales record en route to the third-best sales month in 2011. Domestic vehicle sales rose 13.4 percent on an annual basis to 205,885 units.

In the month, sales of passenger cars by Shanghai GM rose 21.7 percent to 98,674 units. According to the automaker, demand for Shanghai GM’s Buick lineup remained strong, with sales of 56,026 units, up 22.6 percent from the previous year.

Cadillac sales rose over 55 percent on an annual basis in August to 2,531 units. The best-selling model was the SRX with sales totaling 1,772 units.

Chevrolet sales in China also set an August record, totaling 46,370 units, which was 20.5 percent higher than during the same month in 2010. Leading the charge for Chevrolet was the Cruze sedan, with sales of 19,910 units – an increase of 72.7 percent year on year. Sales of the new Aveo, which entered the market in June, totaled 5,050 units.

The best-selling Buick in China was the Buick Excelle, a midsize luxury sedan with China’s top 5-star rating for safety. Sales of the original Excelle passenger car family increased 16.9 percent to 23,700 units, while sales of the Excelle XT and GT were up 32.7 percent on an annual basis to 11,303 units.
However, sales at FAW-GM–its commercial-vehicle joint venture with FAW Group–fell 30.4% on year to 3,506 units, GM said.

Last month, the automaker cut prices of low-cost minivans by as much as 15 percent to offset slowing sales in the world’s largest vehicle market.

“GM does not rely on the minibus for profit,” said Jenny Gu, a Shanghai-based analyst with industry researcher J.D. Power & Associates. “They only contribute volume.”

GM shares fell 0.13% to $22.83 in after-hours trading.