GM Sales in China up 31% in February image

General Motors managed to raise February sales in China by 31%, due to the fact that dealerships opened for more days compared with a year earlier when the Lunar New Year holiday fell in February.

Delivers for passenger cars and Wulig minivans produced with SAIC Motor, reached 237,418 units last month, compared to 181,180 units from last year. The two SAIC ventures accounted for 98% of GM’s vehicle sales in China last year.

“Last year’s Lunar New Year fell in February, which resulted in fewer working days and sales,” said Han Weiqi, an analyst at CSC International Holdings in Shanghai.

Unfortunately, Asian auto sales may be having their worst start in seven years due to slow economic growth and record gasoline prices that keep consumers away from dealerships. The GM sales fell in January with 8%, the first drop in six months, as purchases slowed during the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday. Deliveries increased 8.3% in 2011 to a record 2.55 million vehicles, led by demand for Buick and Chevrolet sedans.

GM plans to double delivers in China to 5 million until 2015, focusing on expanding the luxury car brand Cadillac and SUV lineup.