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SHANGHAI Jan 8 General Motors Corp. (GM.N), the
world's largest auto maker, sold 31.8 percent more vehicles in
China in 2006 than in the previous year as it rolled out new
models to attract buyers.
GM sold 876,747 vehicles in China during the period, 211,000
more than in 2005, it said in a statement released late on
The U.S. auto maker did not give a forecast for 2007, but
Kevin Wale, president and managing director of GM China, said his
company would continue to launch new models and invest an average
of $1 billion in China per year through 2010.
"Our aim is to stay ahead in this critical market for General
Motors by offering local consumers the products and services that
they want when they want them," he said in the statement.
In 2006, the maker of Buick and Chevrolet brands introduced
several new models, including the Cadillac SLS luxury sedan in
It will launch about 10 new or upgraded models this year to
cash in on robust demand in the world's second-largest auto
market, where car sales had grown roughly 25 percent in that
year, Wale said.
GM's robust growth in China comes at a time when the Detroit
giant is struggling with falling market share globally and is
expected to lose the crown as the world's number-one player to
Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T) this year.
Sales at its flagship car venture with Shanghai Automotive
Co. (600104.SS) rose 27 percent to 413,367 cars, while sales at
its commercial vehicle tie-up in south China came to 460,155
vehicles, up 36.5 percent.
While GM pledged to continue investing in its China
operations, other foreign auto giants such as Ford Motor Co.
(F.N), PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA) and Hyundai Motor Co.
(005380.KS) are also ramping up capacity to keep up with demand.
PSA Peugeot and Hyundai are both building a second plant,
while Ford, along with its partners in China, is expanding a
facility in the southwest city of Chongqing and adding a new
plant in Nanjing, some three hours' drive from Shanghai.
GM's arch-rival in China, Volkswagen AG (VOWG.DE) -- which
reported a 28.7 percent rise in local sales to 524,558 units in
the first three quarters -- has yet to release its full-year
Ford and PSA Peugeot's China ventures recorded a 112.7
percent and 43 percent jump in sales last year, respectively,
from a much lower comparative base.