In 2017, General Motors sold over 4 million cars in China for the first time ever. That’s a 4.4 percent boost over 2016 which was pulled off in part thanks to a big December which saw a 13.1 percent rise in sales over the same month the previous year. This is the sixth consecutive year that China has been GM’s biggest retail market.
It’s also the first time China has surpassed the U.S. in being Cadillac’s biggest market. Cadillac saw a massive 51 percent growth in 2017 largely thanks to the XT5 crossover, the ATS-L (yes, a long wheelbase ATS), and the XTS sedan. General Motors says Cadillac has been enjoying double-digit sales growth in China for 22 consecutive months.
Buick has been China’s favorite American car for a while and 2017 was Buick’s biggest year ever in China. The premium brand saw a modest 0.2 percent rise in sales moving 1.18 million units. Buick came out with 7 new models in China in 2017 and the brand has a presence in both the mainstream and luxury segments which contributes to its massive sales numbers.
Chevy did pretty well with a 4.2 percent sales increase in China in 2017. Much like here in the States, the big sellers were the Equinox crossover and the Malibu sedan which accounted for about 22 percent of all Chevrolets sold in China last year.
The Baojun brand, which is a joint venture between GM and Chinese motor company SAIC intended to compete with domestic Chinese brands, had another year of big growth. Sales were up 44.8 percent for Baojun mostly thanks to a new small SUV called the 510.
Finally, there’s Wuling, the only GM brand that took a hit in China in 2017. Wuling makes small vans and MPVs for both passenger and commercial use. Although Wuling moved over 1 million units in 2017, it saw a rather significant 16.3 percent drop in sales.
With a growing commitment to electric vehicles by China, we have a feeling GM’s plan to introduce 20 new electrified cars by 2023 will be helpful in growing its dominance in the region.