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SAIC-GM-Wuling sales rise 40 percent in first four months of 2009

LIUZHOU, Guangxi – Propelled by the stimulus package released by the Chinese government, SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW), GM’s mini-commercial vehicle joint venture in China, sold more than 340,000 vehicles from January to April, up 40 percent year-on-year, the company said on May 21.

April sales of SGMW increased 60.6 percent from a year earlier to 95,544 units, the largest volume of vehicles sold by a Chinese carmaker in the period. China recorded total domestic sales of 1.153 million vehicles in April, with SGMW as the top seller, followed by Shanghai-Volkswagen, FAW-Volkswagen, Shanghai-GM and Chang’an.

Earlier this year, China released a support program to subsidize rural buyers of minivans and light trucks. The Wuling Sunshine, a minivan launched in 2002, was China’s bestselling vehicle in April with sales of 50,491 units. Its Jan-April sales registered 200,000 units.

With manufacturing bases in Liuzhou and Qingdao, the joint venture makes small vehicles of both Wuling and GM brands, such as Wuling Sunshine, Wuling Rongguang, Wuling Hongtu and Chevrolet Spark. SGMW’s 2008 domestic sales hit 650,508 units, making it China’s largest minivan maker for three straight years, with 45 percent market share.

SGMW currently has more than 1,300 sales and service outlets nationwide, which cover 90 percent of the cities and 30 percent of the counties and townships in the country. In late April, the company raised its vehicle sales goal for 2009 to at least 800,000 units from the previous target of 750,000 units.

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