General Motors and its joint ventures sold 252,567 vehicles in China in May 2015, a 4.0 percent decrease from May 2014.
Though General Motors cites model changeovers and the phasing out of older vehicles as the primary reasons for the sales drop, analysts believe that growing competitive pressures from China’s domestic brands are the primary reason for the sales decrease. In fact, it these competitive pressures caused GM China to cut prices on many of its vehicles in the middle of May.
“China’s vehicle market continues to grow at a moderate pace,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. “We expect about 6-8 percent annual growth, which is significant given the size of the world’s largest passenger vehicle market.”
Tsien also stated that GM is continuing “to respond to shifting consumer preferences with more new products in the high-growth SUV, MPV and luxury segments, including the Baojun 560 and Buick Envision, as well as the Buick Verano and new Chevrolet Malibu sedans. In addition, we are increasing production to meet demand for the popular Envision.”
Domestic sales by Shanghai GM — The General’s primary joint venture in China responsible for Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac brands — dropped 7.6 percent year-over-year to 119,214 units. Sales of Buick and Chevy were down, while Cadillac were up.
Buick sales fell 12.9 percent on an annual basis to 62,601 units.
Buick China sales continued to be led by the Excelle XT and GT, which had combined sales of 15,311 units. Sales of the Envision reached a new monthly record of 11,556 units, bringing sales of Buick’s trio of SUVs (Envision, Enclave and Encore) to 18,592 units, up 157.6 percent from May 2014.
Chevrolet sales fell 2.2 percent on an annual basis to 50,021 units.
Chevrolet China sales continued to be led by the Cruze, which had sales of 20,675 units — up 6.6 percent year-over-year. It was followed by the Sail, which sold 13,474 units and Malibu, at 8,097 units.
Cadillac sales rose 10.9 percent on an annual to 6,592 units.
Cadillac China sales were led by the the ATS-L and ATS, which together accounted for 2,758 units. By comparison, ATS family sales totaled 536 units during May 2014. The ATS family was followed by the SRX and XTS, selling 1,915 and 1,859 units, respectively.
Domestic sales at SAIC-GM-Wuling rose 2.7 percent year-over-year to 133,093 units, seeing a new May record.
Wuling sales decreased 11.7 percent on an annual basis to 108,998 units. The joint venture attributes the sales drop to a model changeover of the Hong Guang MPV.
Baojun sales rose 293.8 percent on an annual basis to 24,095 units.