GM Reports 2020 First Quarter Sales for China
In the midst of a pandemic that has swept around the globe, GM reported a significant decline in China sales for the first quarter.
This decline in sales wasn’t unexpected. The COVID-19 virus was first found in the Chinese city of Wuhan and quickly spread. The Chinese government locked down millions of people to get the outbreak under control. In the process, economic activity across the country experienced a dramatic slowdown — including vehicle sales.
During this time, GM reprioritized its operations to help stop the spread of the virus and keep employees safe while still finding ways to reach and serve its customers.
For the quarter, GM delivered 461,716 vehicles in China. That’s a 43.3 percent decrease from the same period in 2019, when GM was able to sell 813,973 vehicles.
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GM first-quarter sales: brand by brand
GM’s top-selling brand from the quarter was Wuling, a joint venture that primarily sells commercial vans and consumer utility vehicles. Wuling sold 172,209 units, down 34.3 percent from the 262,214 units it sold in the first quarter of 2019.
Coming in second for GM’s Chinese brands was Buick, which moved 129,587 units for the quarter. That represented a 42.5 percent decrease from the 225,313 Buick vehicles sold over the same period in 2019.
GM’s next biggest seller was the Baojun brand, which is part of the same partnership that produces Wuling vehicles. Baojun sold 82,189 vehicles, a 51.5 percent decline compared to the 169,380 it sold during the first three months of 2019.
The Chevrolet brand sold 50,927 vehicles for the quarter. That’s down 54.7 percent from the 112,382 units Chevy sold in 2019’s third quarter.
Cadillac sales for the first quarter reached 26,804, a 40 percent decrease from the 44,684 units the brand moved during the same quarter in 2019.
Despite its sales challenges for the quarter, GM did have several achievements to celebrate. The SAIC-GM-Wuling partnership remained China’s bestselling automaker. GM was also able to launch new models during the quarter, including the all-electric Chevrolet Menlo and Wuling’s Hong Guang MINI EV. Preorders began for a pair of models: the Buick GL8 Avenir and the Chevrolet Blazer.
As COVID-19 cases in China continue to decline and the country emerges from lockdown, GM remains in a strong position to rebuild sales, thanks to its diverse mix of vehicles and its extensive market presence.
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A longtime editor/writer and recently transplanted Hoosier, Caleb Cook lives in Xenia, Ohio. His favorite activities are reading and listening to music, although he occasionally emerges from the heap of books and vinyl records in his basement to stand blinking in the sunlight. Once fully acclimated to the outside world again, he can be observed hanging out with his wife, attempting a new recipe in the kitchen, attending movies, walking the dog, or wandering into a local brewery to inquire about what’s on tap. See more articles by Caleb.