Stat of the day: GM car sales in China

China has been the largest vehicle market globally since it overtook the US in 2009.  GM, which has a partnership with SAIC, continues to sell enormous amounts of vehicles as well.  Below are some annual figures to give you an idea of the volume & revenue.

Overall GM globally

  • 2010 – $4.7 billion annual profit from $135.59 billion revenue (source)
  • 2011 – $7.6 billion annual profit from $150.28 billion revenue (source)
  • 2012 – $4.9 billion annual profit from $152.3 billion in revenue (source)

GM in China specifically

  • 2010 – Sold 2,351,610 vehicles in China (28.8% increase YoY) (source)
  • 2011 – Sold 2,547,171 vehicles in China (8.3% increase YoY) (source)
  • 2012 – Sold 2,836,128 vehicles in China (11.3% increase YoY) (source)

As I mention in Chapter 1, approximately 19.3 million automobiles were sold in China in 2012.1 By 2015 it is estimated that the Chinese car market will be larger than the US, Japan and Germany combined.234 And by 2016, McKinsey & Company – a global management consulting company – estimates that China will surpass the US as top luxury car market.5 There are now 240 million vehicles on the mainland and 20 million more vehicles will be sold this year.6 Furthermore, according to Michael Dunne, an Asian-based car market consultant, “[of] the projected 2.3 million American-branded cars Chinese will buy this year [2012], an astonishing 96% will be made in China.”7 And this growth rate has largely occurred in less than a decade.  For example, in 2004, the market for Land Rover vehicles on the mainland was a mere 1% yet has subsequently surged to 20% of Land Rovers total sales last year.89

  1. Vehicle sales overtake Europe in 2012 from China Daily and 2012: Slowing growth, maturing market from China Daily []
  2.  An estimated 20.65 million automobiles are expected to be sold in 2013.  See China 2013 Auto Sales May Accelerate This Year to Top 20 Million from BloombergChina Slowing Auto Sales Still Eclipse U.S.-Japan-Germany: Cars from Bloomberg and China’s vehicle sales remain in doldrums fromFinancial Times []
  3. One of the issues facing policy makers is traffic congestion.  Each city handles it differently, some auctioning off license plates to residents.  The cost of license plates has increased as cities have become denser and more affluent.  In Shanghai for example, in the recent license plate auction held in January 2013, the average price for a plate was $12,000.  See Shanghai’s Newest Luxury Item: The License Plate from The Wall Street Journal and Shanghai licence plates ‘precious as gold,’ says vice mayor from South China Morning Post []
  4. Used car sales are increasing faster than new car sales on the mainland and may be an opportunity for foreign auto dealers with experience in this segment.  4.8 million used cars were sold in China in 2012 compared with 15.5 million new cars.  Used car sales are expected to double to 10 million in the next three years.  For comparison, in the US the used car market is four times the size of new cars.  See Coming of age: China’s used car market outpaces new sales growth from Reuters []
  5. China to surpass US as top luxury car market: study from Agence France-Presse []
  6. China Vehicle Population Hits 240 Million as Smog Engulfs Cities from Bloomberg []
  7. ‘Imported From Detroit’ Is a Good Idea in China, if Only… from The Wall Street Journal []
  8. Modern facilities, global reach for Jaguar Land Rover from China Daily []
  9. Many other luxury cars continue to sell well on the mainland.  For example, in 2011 Chinese consumers overtook the US in purchases of Rolls Royce vehicles; although in 2012 US consumers retook the “torch” which may again be handed off in 2013.  See U.S. Overtakes China as World’s No. 1 Buyer of Rolls-Royce from The Wall Street Journal []
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