General Motors on Friday said its sales in China rose 18.5 percent in 2011 to 1.23 million cars.

According to the U.S. based automaker, Buick brands came to 645,537 vehicles, up 17.4 percent, while its Chevrolet brand sold 555,991 – up 17.9 percent. Cadillac also had a good year – sales rose 72.8 percent to 30,008 units.

China’s retail sales rose an estimated 17 percent year-on-year to 18 trillion yuan ($2.86 trillion) in 2011 as the government sought to boost domestic consumption, the Commerce Ministry said.

Polk expects China will continue to be the main driver of global growth. Much of China’s new car demand has been concentrated in the largest cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing, but analysts see a burgeoning market in China’s second-tier cities, many with populations of more than 1 million.

It is expected that GM will increase its local production of Cadillacs.

China’s decision to increase import levies on some vehicles from the U.S. will have minimal impact as imports account for 0.5 percent of GM’s China sales.

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


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