GM to expand lineup of new models in China market image

General Motors, the largest global automaker in China, plans to introduce 25 new or updated vehicle models in the nation by the end of 2011 to retain its lead in the world’s biggest auto market, Bloomberg reported this week.

GM said the models to be launched in China will include the Chevrolet Volt plug-in car in 2011. The company will add more hybrids, plug-ins and electric vehicles in the next five years and increase the use of turbo chargers, direct-injection systems and improved aerodynamics to improve fuel efficiency.

General Motors CompanyImage via Wikipedia

GM boosted China sales 68% from a year earlier to 230,048 vehicles last month, compared with U.S. sales of 188,546. This year GM China aims to sell over 2 million vehicles, up from 1.83 million in 2009. GM expects its annual sales in China to exceed 3 million units in 2015.

In March, sales of Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac cars by GM’s flagship car venture Shanghai GM grew 89% to 86,967 units, mini-vehicle venture SAIC-GM-Wuling saw sales grow 43% to 129,489 units, and newly formed light-truck venture FAW-GM sold 13,200 vehicles.

The new models may help GM build on record sales in China, a crucial market for the carmaker’s recovery from bankruptcy. China overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest auto market last year as government incentives for small, fuel-efficient cars boosted demand.

The U.S. auto giant’s decision to introduce more models to China underscores its ambitions to continue its expansion and leadership in the Chinese market, while establishing itself as a major player in the promising green vehicle sector.