Manufacturing News

GM China Sales Double

General Motors Corp. said Monday its China sales in October more than doubled from a year earlier amid tax cuts and incentives to help boost the industry.

GM and other automakers are looking to China's fast-growing market to drive sales amid slack demand elsewhere. China's sales have surpassed those of United States for all but two months this year.

GM and its Chinese joint-venture partners sold a total of 166,911 vehicles in October, more than double the year-earlier period, the company said. It gave no figure for the same month of 2008.

The company said it sold just under 1.5 million vehicles in the first 10 months of the year and as of Monday had surpassed that level.

"This has been a year of records for GM in China," said Kevin Wale, GM China Group president, in a statement.

GM and other automakers are looking to first-time buyers in smaller Chinese cities to help drive sales as incomes outside the country's prosperous east coast rise.

Beijing has helped to boost auto sales with tax cuts and subsidies for drivers to shift to cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars. Most of that aid has gone to Chinese makers of smaller cars, though foreign producers also see sales rising.

GM said October sales by its flagship joint venture, Shanghai GM, rose 109.7 percent to 68,505 vehicles and the total for the first 10 months of the year was up 46.5 percent at 548,707 units.

SAIC-GM-Wuling, GM's mini-commercial vehicle joint venture, sold 89,416 vehicles in October, up 78.5 percent from October 2008. The total for the year to date was up 65.9 percent at 891,285 units.

GM's 2-month-old joint venture with truck maker FAW, FAW-GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle Co. Ltd., sold 8,687 vehicles in October.

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