Jan 07, 2020 (China Knowledge) - General Motors Co’s (GM) vehicle sales in China fell consecutively for a second time in 2019 amidst a slowing economy and increased competition in the mid-priced sport utility vehicle (SUV) category.
Sales in 2019 fell 15% from a year earlier to 3.09 mln vehicles, country’s second-biggest foreign automaker, said in a statement. The company delivered 3.65 mln vehicles in 2018 and 4.04 mln units in 2017.
GM has a Shanghai-based joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp (600104), where vehicle brands such as Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac are made. It’s Liuzhou-based venture, with Guangxi Automobile Group and SAIC, in which make minivans, have also started to make higher-end cars. Baojun brand, GM’s more affordable line, has seen a drop of 27.6% in sales for the latest quarter. Sales of mass-market Chevrolet did not fare well as well with a drop of 20.1%, while Buick fell 16.7%, the statement said. But GM’s luxury brand Cadillac’s saw an increase in sales of 3.9%.
GM is focused on bolstering its product line-up and improving cost efficiency, Matt Tsien, GM executive vice president and president of GM China, said in the statement. “We expect the market downturn to continue in 2020, and anticipate ongoing headwinds in our China business,” Tsien added.
China’s auto market is expected to contract by 2% in 2020, entering into the third year of decline due to the weaker economy and the ongoing trade dispute, based on the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers forecast.
According to the CAAM, 2019 sales are expected to decline 8% from the prior year. The CAAM will announce 2019 full year sales next week.
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