US auto giant General Motors said Thursday that its China sales set a record for March, despite an overall slowdown in the world’s biggest car market.
The company, the world’s biggest automaker by sales, sold 257,944 vehicles in March, up more than 10 percent from the same month last year, and its highest total for the month, according to a company statement.
Ford’s China unit will invest about $600 million to increase the capacity of one of its passenger-car factories by almost 60 percent as it looks to expand its operations in the world’s largest auto market.
The automaker, along with joint venture partner Changan Automobile, will raise capacity at its factory in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing by 350,000 units to 950,000 vehicles annually by 2014, Ford said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Construction is expected to begin immediately, it said.
A small local auto show in Beijing, not the Beijing Auto Show 2012 (aka China Auto 2012). The nicely named ’17th Beijing Automotive Trade Fair’ (web) is basically a dealer show sexed up with babes and customizing clubs from around town. Not big, but always good for a few hours of cars. Location: Beijing Agricultural Exhibition Center (web). Date: from today April 5 until Sunday April 8. Pic from the 2011 edition, so you know what to expect…
China has surpassed the U.S. to officially become Bentley’s largest market, with sales in the region increasing by 84.9 percent in the last quarter, according to the company. Bentley’s overall first quarter results showed a 46.6 percent increase in deliveries for the first three months of 2012, the company said.
The Brilliance-BMW joint venture plans to sell 150,000 BMW sedans in 2012, up 40% compared to 2011. Brilliance-BMW sold 108,190 BMW sedans in 2011, up 53,5%, outclassing China’s passenger car sales rise of 5.2%.
“I believe sales in China’s luxury car market should rise 15 to 20 percent this year as this segment is still small in China and more consumers are chasing for premium brands,” chairman Wu Xiaoan told reporters at a results briefing. “We will grow faster than the market.”
Fiat and Guangzhou Automobile will begin selling the first car made under their joint venture in China in the second half of 2012 at a plant with a capacity to make up to 170,000 units a year, the head of the Italian automaker said Wednesday.
“That will be the first phase,” Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said at the automaker’s annual shareholders assembly in its hometown in northwestern Italy, referring to the number of vehicles to be produced.
Daimler’s premium car brand Mercedes-Benz said it had ramped up margin-eroding incentives in China to boost sales of its flagship S-Class saloon in February, pledging to reduce the amount considerably in the future.
The BYD-Daimler joint venture officially launched its new Denza brand today at a little party in Shenzhen. They did not show the car but did announce the Chinese name: Tengshi (腾势). We had already seen the logo but it was now official and in the right colors, depicting a water droplet. They also unveiled a really catchy English slogan: “EV the Future”, and a website without a car: www.denza.com. The car will debut on April 23 on the Beijing Auto Show, it will hit the market in 2013.
Top Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corp reported a 67 percent surge in quarterly earnings on Thursday, citing solid demand for German and US cars made at its Shanghai ventures as well as a $4.4 billion asset purchase from its state parent.
From October to December, SAIC’s net profit came to 6.93 billion yuan, up from 4.15 billion a year earlier and slightly higher than a consensus forecast of 6.72 billion from 14 analysts polled by Thomson One.