China boost for GM

06 May 2009

SHANGHAI: General Motors may be battling bankruptcy in the United States but its Chinese joint ventures are offering a rare ray of hope to embattled new chief executive Fritz Henderson. Its two leading brands there, Buick and Wuling, both increased sales by 50 per cent in April compared to the same month in 2008.

Wuling is a joint venture between GM, its long-time partner Shanghai Automotive Industries and Liuzhou Wuling, a leader maker of vans and minivans for the agricultural and industrial sectors.

At the moment, GM is dependent on Chevrolet for mass market car sales in China but Wuling, which already produces over 500,000 vehicles per annum, is believed to be planning to enter the volume car sector too.

GM chief financial officer Ray Young says the company plans to use the new Wuling vehicles to increase its share in the wider south-east asian market.

GM, until this year the world's biggest car manufacturer by volume, has lost ground in its home market and Europe to rivals Toyota and VW. But its policy in China of forming long-standing partnerships, and particularly its association with the unremarked Liuzhou Wuling, appears to be paying off handsomely. 



Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff.