VW and GM Race for the Sales Crown in China in 2013 image

In 2013 VW and GM will race for the sales crown with the other foreign automakers in China.

VW lost the lead in China in 2004, although its Audi sedans are quite popular among Chinese bureaucrats. Next year the German automaker is expected to sell 2.7 million vehicles, surpassing GM’s 2.65 million vehicles, helped by 8 new or revamped models such as the Golf, Santana, Audi Q3 and Skoda Octavia. GM’s new models include the Cadillac XTS and three Opel vehicles. According to industry researcher JSC Automotive Consulting passenger-vehicle sales in China are expected to increase 10% in 2013.

“When the economy stabilizes, Chinese consumers will have more confidence to buy cars,” said Lin Huaibin, a Shanghai-based analyst at IHS Automotive. “A lot of indicators have shown economic improvement since September.”

More and more foreign automakers are beginning to invest in the world’s largest auto market, trying to make up for the losses in the crisis hit Europe. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, auto sales in China might surpass 19 million vehicles by the end of this year.

This year Toyota will take back its title as the world’s largest automaker, while VW and GM still fight for the 2nd place with only one week until the end of the year. According to Toyota, its sales might increase 2% in 2013 reaching a new record with 9.91 million units.