BEIJING -- General Motors expects its Chinese sales next year to beat industry unit sales growth of 10 to 15 percent, its top executive for the country said on Wednesday.
If achieved, the sales rise would extend GM's trend of rising market share in China, the world's third-largest vehicle market.
"We expect industry sales to increase between 10 to 15 percent and we expect to perform slightly above that rate, as we expect market share to increase," Kevin Wale told reporters in Beijing.
GM outpaced the Chinese market with a 27.8 percent jump in vehicle sales to 472,468 units in the first nine months of this year, giving it a market share of about 11 percent, up from 9.3 percent for calendar 2004.
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, according to the country's official auto industry association.
GM posted record first-half sales in China and expects 20 percent-plus growth for 2005, Wale told Reuters in July. It is closing in on long-time market leader Volkswagen A.G.
Shipments in China this year were estimated to hit 590,000 units, versus 492,014 in 2004, Wale said then. China has proved a godsend for struggling GM, yielding a fifth of group net earnings in the third quarter of 2004.
Overall Chinese car sales 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 and at a similar level next year.