While 2009 proved to be an abysmal year for the global auto industry, there was one major exception. The Chinese car market experienced a huge increase in sales, mostly due to the country’s expanding economy and a whole bunch of government subsidies.
GM fans would be glad to hear that 2009 was the year The General had the biggest success in China, experiencing a 67 percent increase over 2008 levels. In fact, GM China sales surpassed those in the US in during the first 11 months of 2009. To round off the year, GM China experienced a 96.6 percent sales increase in December 2009 versus the same period one year ago (December 2008).
What’s more, GM is anticipating an even stronger 2010, with GM China president Kevin Wale adding “the industry outlook is strong, and we expect more growth, albeit on a somewhat slower pace.” That’s music to the ears of GM and the company’s most loyal fans, as we all know how much The General has been struggling in the United States.
And while GM is doing everything it can to reduce its expenses all over the world, China is an exception. The General is spending money and investing heavily in China: in 2009, it opened a laboratory and safety facility and launched its OnStar telematics system. It’s also planning on opening an enormous proving ground in the country in the near future.
GM’s success in China can’t be properly discussed without mentioning its Chinese partner SAIC, to whom The General just sold the controlling one percent stake of its Shanghai GM partnership.
We hope GM can bring the level of success it’s having in China to other global automotive markets, especially the US.