Shanghai GM, the joint venture between General Motors and China’s SAIC, has sold its 1 millionth vehicle in China on October 11th, 2012 — marking the earliest time during a calendar year that the milestone was reached. Coincidentally, 2012 is the third consecutive year in the history of the venture that the 1 million sales mark has been achieved.
For the sake of comparison, Shanghai GM reached 1 million sold vehicles on October 28th of last year; in 2010, it reached the 1 million mark on December 15 — the first year the 1 million mark was reached.
As of October 11, Shanghai GM has sold an average of 3,511 vehicles a day in China in 2011 — an increase of 6.8 percent this year from the same time period in 2011. In total, the one million sold vehicles consists of 534,017 Buicks, 444,904 Chevys, and 21,802 Cadillacs. In fact, if export sales are taken into account, then the (partial) China-based GM subsidiary has sold 1 million vehicles as of September 27th, 2012.
To keep up with demand, Shanghai GM broke ground on a new plant in Wuhan in June, coinciding with its 15th anniversary. It also opened its first full-scale proving ground in September. Supported by a network of sales, aftersales, and parts centers across the nation, the organization was responsible for a total of 1,200,355 sales in China in 2011. The original Buick Excelle is expected to remain the best-selling passenger car in China for 2012 — a title it commanded last year, as well.
The GM Authority Take
Reaching the 1 million vehicles sold mark earlier in the year is a definitive sign of an growing sales rate — good news for any company, but especially good news here — as this specific milestone represents the success of GM’s core brands, rather than the overabundance of products from its Chinese joint ventures (read: FAW, Wuling) which contain zero GM DNA.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that despite the reported popularity and success of GM vehicles in China, The General surpassed a million vehicle sales in the U.S. sometime during May of 2012, roughly five months ahead of the same sales milestone in China. Coincidentally, adding in the sales of GM’s Chinese joint venture partners (read: counting SAIC-GM-Wuling and FAW & company) results in a million units sold in China sometime in May, as well. In other words, The General’s U.S. operations are still its most successful, from a sales volume perspective.