As last year it lost for the first time in eight years the sales crown in China, General Motors prepares to battle the German automaker in the 2014-2017 period with a $12 billion investment.
The world’s largest single car market has become hugely competitive and foreign automakers have all intensified their presence locally – one good example being Ford, which, despite being a late comer has managed to secure the fifth position so far and aims to become third by the year’s end.
As part of GM’s new investment plan, the US automaker will build next year alone five new manufacturing facilities, as it aims to increase local capacity by 65% through 2020. The company also expects its overall sales to grow by around 8-10% this year, a more cautious approach then what Volkswagen forecasts, for example.
“We are investing wisely and accelerating our vehicle development and manufacturing to keep pace with market demand. In total we are investing $12 billion between 2014 and 2017,” Matt Tsien, president of GM China, said at the Auto China show in Beijing.
The five new plants in China should be located in Wuhan, Chongqing, Jinqiao and Shenyang – with four dedicated to car assembly and the fifth, in Shenyang, building engines.
Among the car plants, the Jinqiao facility will be dedicated to GM’s flagship Cadillac brand, which is a rising star locally. According to GM executives, the company plans to increase Cadillac sales from 50,000 units last year to at least 100,000 by 2015.