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GM China First-Quarter Sales Rise 9.6% to Record, Led by Buick

General Motors Co. (GM)’s first-quarter sales in China, the world’s largest auto market, climbed 9.6 percent to a record, led by deliveries of its Buick vehicles and Wuling microvans.

Sales last month increased 13 percent from a year earlier, bringing the January-to-March tally to 816,373 vehicles, GM said on its website today. First-quarter Buick and Wuling deliveries rose 16 percent and 12 percent, respectively, while Cadillac sales fell 4.6 percent.

GM, vying with Volkswagen AG (VOW) for the lead among foreign automakers in the world’s largest auto market, has lured buyers from Japanese brands as sovereignty dispute over islets in the East China Sea caused an anti-Japan backlash. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Nissan Motor (7201) Co. and Honda Motor Co. all saw their China sales fall during the first quarter.

Among GM’s brands, Wuling accounted for almost half of sales during the quarter. GM has said it aims to increase total China sales by 75 percent to 5 million vehicles a year by 2015.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Alexandra Ho in Shanghai at aho113@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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