The General will increase dealer count from 2,900 last year to 3,500 by the end of the year in China. “We fundamentally believe in the strength of the Chinese market,” Akerson said during the Beijing auto show.
Additionally, General Motors will expand production capacity to 5 million cars a year by 2016, essentially doubling the 2.55 million cars and trucks GM and its partners sold in 2011.
The announcement comes on the heels of slowing growth as the world’s biggest auto market by sales volume saw a 35 percent boost in automotive sales in 2010 but only a 2 percent increase in the latest quarter. The demand, according to analysts, is cooled by government credit and investment controls meant to slow the what is popularly seen as the overheated economy.
The GM Authority Take
5 million cars by 2016 seems like an overly lofty goal, but considering that GM’s new global product portfolio features some of the best vehicles on the market, boosting sales significantly at the expense of competitors may not be that big of a stretch. In addition, recent plans to shutter production of two European plants as well as rumors to cease manufacturing in Korea — and substitute the production with imports from China — may be the reason for the aggressive production expansion. Welcome to the time of China being the export platform of choice for automakers.