General Motors Co. (GM), which counts China as its largest market, said sales there rose 13 percent in November for its second-best month this year and putting it on track to deliver more than 3 million vehicles this year.
Total sales in November rose 13 percent to 294,500 vehicles, the Detroit-based company said in a statement today. Wholesale deliveries of its premium Cadillac brand gained 93 percent to a record, while Wuling sales climbed 25 percent.
GM, vying with Volkswagen AG (VOW) to be the top foreign automaker by sales in China, forecast it will reach its goal of selling 3 million vehicles this year by the middle of this month. The automaker is poised to set the annual sales record amid management changes, with the announcement last week of Matthew Tsien, a vice president, taking over as head of China operations from Bob Socia when he retires on Jan. 1.
While GM was the top-selling foreign automaker in China last year, Volkswagen pulled ahead in deliveries during the first three quarters, selling 2.35 million vehicles to GM’s 2.31 million units.
At the Shanghai auto show in April, GM unveiled plans to spend $11 billion through 2016 on expanding in China. When completed, the company estimates the four new assembly plants will boost annual capacity to 5 million vehicles -- double the number of cars it sold in the U.S. last year.
VW, along with its Chinese joint ventures, will invest 18.2 billion euros ($24.6 billion) through 2018 to expand in China as part of its strategy to overtake GM and Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) as the world’s largest automaker.
Among GM’s brands, Buick deliveries gained 8.4 percent to 76,085 units last month.
Sales of Wuling vehicles, which account for almost half of GM’s China sales, reached 135,830 units last month. The low-cost Baojun brand sold 2.3 percent more vehicles at 10,466 units, the company said.
SAIC-GM-Wuling, which produces Wuling and Baojun vehicles, is introducing two new Baojun products next year, a compact hatchback and a new multipurpose vehicle, along with a sport utility vehicle in 2015, Raymond Bierzynski, its executive vice president, said last month in Guangzhou.
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