General Motors’s vehicle sales in China dropped for a second year as total auto sales decreased amid a sluggish economy and due to the competition in the major mid-priced sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment.
Sales in 2019 dropped 15% from a year previously to 3.09 million vehicles, GM, China’s second-biggest foreign automaker, stated.
GM delivered 3.65 million vehicles in 2018 and 4.04 million units in 2017.
The American automaker has a Shanghai-based joint venture with SAIC Motor, in which the Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicle brands are built. It also has a Liuzhou-based venture, with SAIC and Guangxi Automobile Group as well in which they make no-frills minivans and have started to built higher-end cars.
Sales of GM’s affordable Baojun brand declined 27.6% for the recent quarter, while sales of mass-market Chevrolet dropped 20.1% and Buick dropped 16.7%, the statement included. But luxury brand Cadillac’s sales saw a rise of 3.9%.
GM is focusing on bolstering its product lineup and enhancing cost efficiency, Matt Tsien, GM executive vice president and president of GM China, stated.
“We expect the market slump to continue in 2020, and expect ongoing headwinds in our China business,” Tsien added.
The world’s largest auto market is set to contract by 2% in 2020, the third year of drops in sales, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) has predicted, because of the weaker economy and the trade war with the United States.
More than 28 million units were sold in 2018, decreasing 3% from the prior year, while 2019 sales are expected to decrease 8% from the prior year, CAAM noted.
The CAAM is set to reveal 2019 full-year sales next week.