As the world’s largest current auto market, China is apparently the next frontier for automakers. American manufacturers like GM and Ford have already moved in to get a piece of the action, and have each seen success thanks to the recent sales boom. With both companies posting sales gains for June and the first half of 2011, Ford and GM have further strengthened their presence in China.
Ford – Up 11 Percent
With 44,442 units sold in June, Ford saw an 11-percent increase in sales over the same period last year. Wholesale sales in China totaled 274,510 units for the first half of 2011, an increase of 14 percent over the first half of 2010. The Focus led Ford-branded passenger car sales in June, with 16,992 units sold – an increase of 19 percent over the same month in 2010. The Ford Mondeo, available in the Chinese market with a 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4, sold 5240 units in June, an increase of 39 percent compared to the same period last year. Selling 6346 units, the Ford Fiesta also proved to be a strong seller in June, raising the total number of Fiestas sold since its Chinese-market launch to 150,000 units.
Ford’s passenger vehicle joint venture in China, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, sold 35,929 vehicles in June, increasing sales by 16 percent over the same period last year. Ford’s commercial vehicle investment in China, Jiangling Motors Corporation, posted sales of 105,204 units in the first half of 2011, a 19-percent gain over the first six months of 2010.
GM – Up 9.9 Percent
Already well established in China, GM posted record sales of 198,878 units for June – up 9.9 percent from June 2010. In the first half of 2011, GM sold 1,273,502 vehicles, increasing sales from the same period last year by 5.5 percent. GM’s Buick brand posted sales of 54,140 units in June, a gain of 48.4 percent over June 2010. The Buick Excelle, the Chinese-market version of the upcoming Buick Verano and relative of the Chevy Cruze, sold 22,888 units in June due to an unprecedented demand for the entry-level luxury car, according to GM.
The Chevrolet brand also made gains in June, selling 51,312 units – an increase of 34 percent over the same period last year. Chevy’s small car models, the Cruze, Aveo and Chinese-market Sail, made up the bulk of those sales. Cadillac sold 2722 units in June, with the SRX crossover making up more than half of those sales at 1876 units sold. Thanks to demand for the SRX and SLS sedan, Cadillac increased sales in the first half of 2011 by 88.3 percent over the same period last year, selling 14,078 vehicles.
GM’s commercial joint venture in China, SAIC-GM-Wuling, saw a decrease in sales of 11.2 percent compared to June 2010. GM attributes this to a down market and the expiration of government incentives for consumer purchases. Still, with sales of 88,027 units, the brand was still a leader in China’s mini-commercial vehicle segment.
Source: Ford, GM