GM Asia boss: China to sell 10.5M vehicles in ’09 image

General Motors Corp. Asia Pacific President Nick Reilly said today he expects China’s auto sales industry-wide to reach 10.4 million-10.5 million units in 2009, reported Dow Jones.

The company raised the sales forecast by 7%-8% from its earlier projection of 9.7 million units, a target set before the start of the year. China’s auto sales totaled 9.38 million last year, including nearly 1.10 million vehicles sold by GM. In the first four months of this year, China’s vehicle sales rose 9.4% to 3.83 million.

Vehicle sales in China have “gotten a lot stronger in the last few months and we expect it to continue pretty strong,” Reilly said. He added that GM together with its auto-making joint ventures has the largest market share in China at 13.5%.

GM and its Chinese joint ventures sold 1.094 million vehicles in China last year, and its sales in China hit a record high in the first five months of this year, up 33.8% year on year to 671,148 units, with May sales rising 75% y/y to a record 156,000 units.

China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) has also upgraded its forecast for this year’s auto sales to 10.2 million units, with year-on-year growth rate of 8.7%, up from the 5% projection earlier this year.