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Shanghai GM Drives to No. 1 in Car Sales
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Shanghai General Motors Corp overtook the two joint ventures of Volkswagen AG in China to capture the crown as the top seller of passenger cars in 2005.


It was the first time Shanghai GM has beaten Shanghai Volkswagen and First Automotive Works-Volkswagen to drive to the top as the best seller in the world's third-largest car market over the past decade.


Shanghai GM, General Motors Corp's joint venture with Shanghai Automobile Industry Corp, and the second-largest domestic automaker, sold 325,000 sedans nationwide in 2005, a surge of 29 percent year-on-year.


Shanghai VW, the winner in 2004, reversed one place to first runner-up spot as it sold 287,000 cars to customers, down 19 percent from a year earlier.


FAW-VW, Volkswagen's joint venture with First Automotive Works Group Corp, the largest carmaker domestically, also slipped one position to third place on sales of 270,000 units, a drop of 10 percent from the same period last year.


The market share of German-based Volkswagen AG, which used to dominate the Chinese market for a long time with its popular Santana model, fell from 80 percent to 20 percent while its sales also dropped more than 10 percent on-year.


Shanghai GM's success was helped by its quick response to market demand as it introduced various models to meet people's needs, said business insiders.


Beijing Hyundai Motor Company also surpassed Guangzhou Honda Automobile Co Ltd and moved one position to No. 4 in the sales stakes, followed by Guangzhou Honda,


Sales of Beijing Hyundai Motor Corp jumped 62 percent to 233,668 cars for 2005 after surging a whopping 176.4 percent in 2004.


Guangzhou Honda, which makes Accord, Fit and Odyssey models, sold 233,000 units nationwide in 2005, up 13.9 percent after it raised its sales target in the middle of 2005.


(Shanghai Daily January 5, 2006)


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