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October 10, 2009

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Home » Business » Auto

GM China sales roar to monthly record

GENERAL Motors Corp said its vehicle sales in China roared to a monthly record last month as government stimulus measures boosted demand for autos.

Sales of the United States car maker, which is reorganizing toward a leaner company after emerging from bankruptcy protection, more than doubled to 181,148 units last month from a year earlier, according to its statement yesterday.

For the first nine months of this year, GM's sales in China totaled 1.29 million units, a jump of 55.6 percent year on year.

"Sales continue to surpass forecasts as nearly all market segments experience growth," said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of GM China Group. "A major market driving force this year has been first-time car buyers in China's second-, third- and fourth-tier cities."

The central government launched a pilot program to provide subsidies and also cut the vehicle purchase tax for consumers who sell their cars to purchase new ones.

These moves powered China's auto sales to grow 29 percent in the first eight months of this year, making the country one of the bright spots in the gloomy global auto markets.

In contrast, GM's sales in the US in September crashed 45 percent despite the government's cash-for-clunker program that gave American consumers money if they trade in old models for a new car.

GM, the largest overseas auto maker in China, said the vibrant sales this year helped it to an estimated market share of 13.4 percent by last month.

With the launch of the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan and the new Buick LaCROSSE sedan in the mid-to-high class segment, GM's passenger car venture -- Shanghai General Motors -- sold 480,213 vehicles in the first three quarters of this year, which already beat its 2008 full year sales.

Japan's Mazda Motor Corp yesterday also reported that its sales in China from January to September expanded by 31 percent to 122,476 vehicles, and said it could be on its way to its full-year sales target of 170,000 units.


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