Strong China sales spur automakers' global success
By Michael Barris and Li Fangfang, China Daily/Asia News NetworkNEW YORK/BEIJING -- As the world's biggest market for automobiles, China has been the most important contributor to automakers' global success.
February 18, 2013, 12:28 am TWN
The country helped propel General Motors in the fourth quarter, though the U.S. company posted a weaker-than-expected profit on Thursday due to wider losses in Europe and rising costs in North America.
The results contributed to a third consecutive money-making year for GM, which is battling Germany's Volkswagen to retain its status as the best-selling foreign automaker in China.
The company said adjusted earnings before interest and taxes for international operations — mainly in China but also Russia, India and a few other countries — jumped 25 percent to US$500 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31.
For all of 2012, GM outsold Volkswagen in China, with record sales of its Wuling minivans. Deliveries at GM and its Chinese joint ventures rose 11 percent to a record 2.84 million vehicles. At Volkswagen, deliveries were up 24.5 percent to 2.81 million. In the fourth quarter, GM deliveries in China increased 15 percent to 754,000.
Although China's passenger vehicle sales growth slowed to 6.8 percent in 2012 from more than 30 percent two years before, the increasing demand for automobiles made the country the largest single market for both GM and Volkswagen.