SHANGHAI -- General Motors outpaced the China market with a 27.8 percent jump in vehicle sales to 472,468 units in the first nine months of this year.
The jump was led by sales at its passenger car venture with Shanghai Automotive Co. Ltd., GM said on Thursday, as it reiterated its aim to achieve double-digit sales growth in China this year.
Vehicle sales -- including everything from cars to buses and trucks -- in China in the first three quarters of the year rose 10.1 percent to 4.14 million units, the country's official auto industry association said.
GM posted record first-half sales in China and expects 20 percent-plus growth for the year, its China chief Kevin Wale told Reuters in July, as it closes in on Volkswagen AG in the world's number-three vehicle market.
Shipments in China this year were estimated to hit 590,000 units, versus 492,014 in 2004, he said. China had proved a godsend for struggling GM, yielding a fifth of group net earnings in the third quarter of 2004.
Overall car sales in China grew 15 percent in 2004 after almost doubling in 2003. Sales growth was hit by government-ordered credit tightening steps to cool a red-hot economy.
Analysts expect sales this year to grow 10 to 15 percent.