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Shanghai GM Drives to Better Sales
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Shanghai General Motors Co Ltd, the local venture of General Motors Corp, reported a better than expected sales growth for the first half of this year thanks to its multi-brand strategy.


Shanghai GM, owned equally by GM and Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp, sold 201,901 units of its Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Saab brands during January to June, a 49 percent jump year on year.


The jump beat the company's earlier projection of 20 percent for the whole year and is expected to help it maintain the crown as the top car seller for the first six months in China.


Its sale spurt was also in line with China's booming car industry as passenger car sales rose 44.21 percent to 2.11 million units in the first five months, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.


"The leading position of Shanghai GM was a reward for our multi-brand strategy in China, and we will continue our fast development with our mainstream models and in emerging markets," said Ding Lei, president of Shanghai GM in a statement yesterday.


Sales of Chevrolet brand of compact cars including Aveo, Sail and the newly introduced Lova soared 86 percent to 54,000 units from January to June, accounting for nearly 27 percent of Shanghai GM's total car sales.


Sales of these compact cars were boosted by soaring oil prices globally, easing of controls on car ownership and tax cuts.


The sales of its Buick series, another mainstream brand that targets the middle-to-high class market, were boosted to 145,785 units during the same period, partly contributed by an average 10 percent price cut on its most popular Royal sedan at the beginning of the year.


Sales of the new Buick LaCrosse sedan grew 20 percent in June from a month earlier while Royal sedan sales totaled 9,500 units in June. These two models compete with Volkswagen's Passat Ling Yu, Honda's Accord and Toyota's Crown.


About 1,600 units of the Cadillac luxury sedans were sold from January to June, a 44 percent increase from a year earlier.


Shanghai GM operates three plants in China with an annual production capacity of 480,000 units.


(Shanghai Daily July 4, 2006)


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