China: GM sets new record in auto sales in June image

General Motors Co. said Thursday it and its joint-venture partners sold 213,495 vehicles in the country in June, up 10.1 percent from a year earlier.

China auto sales totalled 1.42 million from January through June, up 7.3 percent from the year-ago level, GM said in a statement.

“Despite signs of slowing economic growth in China, demand for GM products rose in all key segments in the first half of the year,” Kevin Wale, President and Managing Director of the GM China Group, said in the statement.

“We expect sales growth to remain steady in the second half, driven by demand in China’s interior provinces.”

Buick sales in China increased 5.7 percent compared to the first half of 2011 to 343,279 units, led by record demand for the Excelle and Excelle XT and GT.

Chevy sales rose 1.8 percent to 302,280 units, with demand for the Cruze and New Sail both topping 100,000 units. Cadillac sales were up 3.8 percent to 14,616 units, as sales of the SRX surpassed 11,000 units.

China’s economy has been weakening, recording 8.1 percent growth in the first quarter of this year, its slowest pace in nearly three years.

According to Steve Man, analyst at Nomura, auto sales will climb 6.5% in 2012 after a 5.2% gain in 2011. But that’s still a long way from a 33% sales growth for the industry in 2010.

GM makes vehicles in China in partnership with FAW Group and SAIC Motor Corp.