GM plans China push as VW threatens its lead image

The American automaker announced its plans to intensify promotions of the Chevrolet brand in China and increase the line-up of SUVs to keep its lead in the world’s largest auto market.

Chevy sales increases in China this year have fallen behind the industry’s overall 14 % gain, while SUV deliveries have jumped 45 %, according to data from the company and China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Rising Chevrolet sales in GM’s largest market is key to Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson’s plan of making the brand as the automaker’s global mainstream division.

“We got still a lot of mother brand-building to do for Chevrolet and we will resource that appropriately and get that job done, ” China Chairman Tim Lee, who was appointed to the newly created role in August, said in an interview in Shanghai last week. “If there were one thing that I wish we had done different, I wish we had a better offer” of smaller SUV models.

“It’s a brand that has a total history in the country of about seven or eight years, so based on that relatively short time in the marketplace, our brand awareness is good, our product consideration is good,” Lee said. “But can it be better? I guess.”

Though GM was the leader among foreign brands in China last year, Volkswagen AG has passed it during the first three quarters. Chevy sales are up 3.3 % to 472,561 units in the country, compared with no less than 606,330 Buicks.

Via Bloomberg