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GM’s China Sales Rise 12% to Record in January on Buick Demand

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co., which lost its title as China’s largest foreign automaker last year, said deliveries rose 12 percent in its biggest market on demand for Buick and Wuling vehicles.

Total sales rose to a record 348,061 units in China last month, the Detroit-based company said in a statement today. Buick monthly deliveries gained 16 percent to surpass 100,000 units for the first time, led by the Excelle line, according to the automaker.

GM, overtaken by Volkswagen AG in China in 2013, plans to spend $11 billion through 2016 to expand in the world’s largest auto market, with four new assembly plants boosting annual capacity to 5 million vehicles. The automaker is under new local leadership, with Matthew Tsien taking over this year as head of China operations from Bob Socia, who retired.

Among its other brands, sales of the premium Cadillac brand tripled to 5,741 vehicles. Chevrolet sales fell 0.2 percent to 65,988 units. Sales of Wuling vehicles, which make up almost half of GM’s China sales, climbed 13 percent to 163,886 last month. The entry-level Baojun passenger-car brand sold 28 percent more vehicles at 8,966 units, the company said.

SAIC-GM-Wuling, which produces Wuling and Baojun vehicles, is introducing a compact hatchback and a new multipurpose vehicle under the Baojun brand, along with a sport utility vehicle in 2015, Raymond Bierzynski, its executive vice president, said in Guangzhou in November.

GM announced plans last April to introduce nine SUV models in China over the next five years to capitalize on the country’s increasing demand.

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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