Every month GM tries to impress the automotive market with their monthly China growth figures. Like any public company, the job of the public relations department is to promote news which might have a positive influence on the stock price. In October GM China sales grew by 12% compared with 2012 numbers. That would be a great number in the USA market, but not so great in China.
China passenger car production grew by 24.34% in October compared with 2012 numbers to 1,591,800 passenger cars. Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, GM’s car sales are rising in China, but GM market share is actually shrinking in China. If we start talking about Chevrolet the news is even worse: Chevrolet brand sales rose by only 8% to 59,006 cars in October 2013. Put another way, in October 2012 Chevrolet enjoyed a 4.27% market share in China. In October 2013 Chevrolet’s market share shrank to 3.7%, decreasing by more than 13%.
As China’s second largest passenger car manufacturer, it is easier to falter than to grow. So lets take a look at the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen Group sales in China grew by 18% in October when compared with 2012 numbers. In other words, VW Group’s growth was 50% larger than GM’s. Good for VW, not so good for GM.
Now let’s compare with Ford. Ford is experiencing incredible growth in China in 2013. Ford’s October sales grew by 55% compared with 2012 numbers, making it almost certain Ford will break the ‘million cars per year’ production mark in China for 2013. Ford’s October production in China reached 94,000 units, compared with GM’s 132,954 passenger cars in October. Last October Ford enjoyed a 4.73% market share, already in front of Chevrolet at 4.27%. In October 2013 Ford is dominating with a 5.9% market share compared with Chevrolet at 3.7%.
Not something GM should be bragging about.