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SUVs and Luxury Vehicles Fuel GM’s Q1 2016 Sales in China

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2016 Buick Envision

2016 Buick Envision

General Motors has reported a total of 296,939 vehicles sold in China last month, down 0.6% year-over-year but nonetheless solidified by the popularity of its SUVs and luxury vehicles. March’s sales figures boosted GM’s first quarter sales to a total of 963,652 units delivered, up 0.2% from the first quarter of 2015.

“We are pleased with our continued progress in the industry’s key growth segments,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. “We will continue to launch exciting products across our brands.”

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GM’s March successes were largely earned on the back of its SUVs, including the American-bound Buick Envision, which was up 85% years-over-year. Combined with models like the Baojun 560 SUV, GM SUV sales were up 124% in March.

Buick brand sales were up 2.9% at a total of 72,886 units delivered, bolstered by the Envision and the new LaCrosse, which launched last month. Buick will premiere a hybrid variant of the LaCrosse later this month.

Another major component of GM’s successes in March was Cadillac, which was up 14% year-over-year with a total of 7,588 deliveries. Cadillac’s sales have been helped by the launch of the new CT6 sedan, and they will no doubt be helped further when the new XT5 crossover launches this week.

Chevrolet sales totaled 33,320 units, down 19% year-over-year. This loss is attributed to the transition over to the next-gen Malibu XL, and GM anticipates improved sales over the year with the upcoming launch of the Malibu XL hybrid.

Volume-wise, GM was led by Wuling at 138,079 units, which was nonetheless down 11% year-over-year due to the softening of the commercial vehicle market. Baojun sales were up 82% at 45,002 units delivered, led by both the Baojun 730 and Baojun 560.

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