2010 GM sales in China to exceed figures for US
Kevin Wale, president and managing director of GM China, said: 'Growth has been far more dynamic than I would have believed and it will continue. Next year we could see the market hit 19 million and it will remain dominant in the world by a long way.'
He added: 'By the time we reach 2020 the market in China will be three times larger than India which by then will be in second place. As incomes increase so will car ownership. The growth now is already occurring as people move into the acquisition stage – the trigger point in China is between $3,000 and $5,000. In China people also tend to aggregate income. There are now more, cheaper vehicles available and demand is rising outside the major cities. People love cars here just as they do anywhere else.
China is still on the upside of economic growth, the road system is extensive and growing. There is also more demand for cars in the smaller, tier three and tier four cities. The country has 200 cities with a population of more than a million – the US has just nine.
Mr Wale added: 'In 1998 GM sold 6,000 units in China, last year it was 1.8 million. This year we expect to break through the two million barrier. Last year alone we increased our volume by 700,000 units and that was when GM was going into bankruptcy. We have been the market leader since 2000 with a market share of 13.5 per cent ahead of Volkswagen. Domestic manufacturers such as BYD, Geely etc are all static at around 3% and all the major manufacturers are investing.'
He also believes electric cars will grow most quickly in China.
'EVs make enormous sense in China they have an opportunity to create a different urban driving environment as they build new cities and infrastructures and the Chinese are pushing ahead with this.
'The government is putting in infrastructures while all the domestic manufacturers are developing EVs.'