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GM positioned to sell more in China than U.S.

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GM positioned to sell more in China than U.S.

Global markets were down in 2009 – and China shifted to the leading role as the world’s largest automotive market. While GM is struggling to survive a down market and come out of bankruptcy in the U.S., it is leading the Chinese market and appears to be positioned for further success.

In a recent report by CNNMoney, GM’s sales figures were analyzed and compared market by market – revealing the startling realization that, very soon, GM may be selling more cars in China than in the U.S.

In 2009 GM sold 1.83 million vehicles in China – claiming an industry-leading 13.4 percent of the market. By comparison, in the U.S. market GM sold 2.07 million vehicles and claimed 19.9 percent of the market. While it may seem as if GM has a better stronghold on the U.S. market, it must be taken into consideration that China is in a growth phase (as evidenced by it passing the U.S. for most sales volume in 2009), and the U.S. market is shrinking.

It must also be considered that GM has been steadily declining in market share in the U.S. for decades – so even though the volume total may be slightly higher than China’s sales figure, it is trending downward in market share in a shrinking market. Conversely, the Chinese auto market has been growing rapidly, and GM has been growing exponentially over the past five years in that market.

In 2004, GM’s Chinese market volume tallied just 500,000 vehicles, by contrast, it moved a staggering 4.6 million vehicles in the U.S. In the period from 2004 until now, GM’s Chinese volume sales are up 273 percent, while its U.S. sales are down 55 percent.

GM’s Shanghai-based president of international operations, Tim Lee, believes that GM’s China sales will likely surpass its U.S. sales sooner, rather than later, but he stopped short of offering a timeline.

“We did very, very well,” Lee said, speaking about GM’s sales in China in 2009. “We don’t intend to stop with what we’ve done. We intend to grow.”



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