GM reports sales decline in its largest market amid COVID-19 resurgence




  • In Business
  • 2022-07-06 20:18:38Z
  • By Detroit Free Press

General Motors reported on Wednesday a 35.5% decline in sales of new vehicles during the second quarter in its largest market, China.

GM China said it sold 484,200 vehicles compared with 750,800 in the year-ago period. The dip is largely due to a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic there.

GM is the No. 2 automaker in China and is seeing growing customer interest in Cadillac vehicles, CEO Mary Barra said during an appearance at the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles on May 3.

Shanghai GM Norsom Phase III plant
Shanghai GM Norsom Phase III plant's assembly shop in China.  

More: GM's Barra: 'We can reenter Europe as an all-EV player'

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"Our Cadillac luxury sales keep growing there," Barra said at that time. "It's a little difficult right now with what we've been through in the last couple years between supply chain challenges and now frankly the consumer is not out."

Much of China remained on lockdown because of the pandemic.

"It's a temporary situation," Barra said. "We think we'll get back to the share that we had and be much higher. With our (SAIC-GM-Wuling) joint venture we do have the bestselling EV in China, which is the Hong Guang MINI EV. It is attracting new buyers."

In a statement, GM said it remains focused on resuming production and it did see some sales recover across brands in May.

For the quarter: Sales of new Buick vehicles dropped 43% to 128,300. Sales of Chevrolet vehicles decreased 36.7% to 40,000, sales of Cadillac dropped 42.2% to 36,900, sales of Wuling vehicles declined 22.7% to 267,800 and sales of Baojun plummeted 78.5% to 11,200.

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq electric luxury SUV began rolling off the production line in May and is available for order in China. GM has plans for Buick and Chevrolet to offer new EVs in China and said those will debut there later this year.

On Friday, GM reported its U.S. new car sales declined 15.4% for the quarter as it grapples with a global shortage of semiconductor chips and other production disruptions. For the quarter, GM sold 582,401 new vehicles compared with 688,236 vehicles a year earlier.

GM China recently said it signed a letter of intent with Shanghai's Pudong New Area government in which GM will invest $100 million in the GM Premium Import business. The new unit will import GM's most popular and profitable vehicles built and sold mostly in North America to China.

More: GM narrowly recaptures US sales crown from Toyota despite second quarter sales decline

More: GM received $3.8 billion in tax credits from Michigan to keep jobs, automaker reveals

Contact Jamie L. LaReau: 313-222-2149 or jlareau@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for our autos newsletter. Become a subscriber.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: GM China reports 2nd quarter sales results down as COVID-19 cases rose

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