SHANGHAI (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co., the biggest overseas automaker in China, said its sales in the country may rise at the low end of an earlier forecast, following a slowdown in demand for commercial vehicles.
Industry sales will likely grow about 10 percent in 2011 as deliveries of mini-commercial vehicles fall, said Kevin Wale, president of GM's China business.
The latest estimate compares with his forecast last November for a gain of 10 percent to 15 percent.
"Our objective is to always grow with the market and exceed it by a little bit," Wale said.
China's auto sales have slowed from the record 32 percent gain last year after the government phased out buying incentives and imposed ownership restrictions to curb traffic congestion.
The country overtook the U.S. as the world's largest auto market in 2009.
GM's sales rose 10 percent in June from a year earlier, after dropping in the prior two months, as customers bought more Buick and Chevrolet passenger cars.
Sales by SAIC-GM-Wuling Automotive Co., its minivan venture with SAIC Motor Corp., fell 11 percent last month. Industrywide vehicle sales expanded 3.4 percent to 9.3 million units in the first six months of the year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on July 8.
Full-year vehicle sales may increase about 5 percent, down from the group's earlier estimate for 10 percent to 15 percent growth, because of lower demand for commercial vehicles, Zhu Yiping, head of the association's statistics department, said in Beijing.
Wale spoke before the association's announcement.