Recalls have not hurt our China business: GM president

Reporting by Eunice Yoon | Writing by Ansuya Harjani
GM: 'Huge opportunity' for Cadillac in China

General Motors' massive recall of cars with defective ignition switches and power steering failures has not impacted the automaker's business in China, according to President Dan Ammann.

"We haven't seen any impact - I haven't heard a lot of discussion around that in my couple of days here," Ammann told CNBC on the sidelines of the Beijing auto show on Sunday.

When asked whether the company was doing anything specific in China to counter any potential fallout from the recall debacle, he said, "nothing specific, other than just doing what we're doing every day, which is making sure that we put the customers first from a service and product perspective."

Since February, GM has recalled 2.6 million vehicles globally due to concerns about ignition switches that unexpectedly turn off engines during operation and leave airbags, power steering and power brakes inoperable. At least 13 deaths have been linked to the defect.

Read MoreGM to seek court protection against ignition lawsuits

Separately, at the end of March, GM recalled another 1.5 million vehicles worldwide due to issues related to a sudden loss of power steering capabilities.

Government documents released over the weekend showed the company waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims.

GM's Chevy Volts on the assembly line in Detroit, Michigan.
Getty Images

Ammann said the company acted as soon as it could.

"As soon as we have a decision in front of us, and as soon as we have all the available information, we react on that right away," he said.

Racing ahead in China

Despite China's slowing economy, the automaker sees another record year of sales in the mainland, its biggest market accounting for about a third of total sales.

GM and its Chinese joint ventures sold a record 3.16 million vehicles in 2013, an 11 percent increase from a year earlier. It makes vehicles in China in partnership with FAW Group and SAIC Motor.

(Read MoreCarmakers set to battle for Chinese consumers)

"We see 8-10 percent growth for the industry this year - we hope to grow at least at that level - hopefully a little more quickly than that," he said.

"It's nowhere near the growth rates we saw 2-3 years ago, but it's a very big market and it's growing relatively quickly," he added.

Ammann said he sees a "huge opportunity" for its Cadillac brand as the luxury segment is growing quickly. The company aims to sell 100,000 by 2015 in China, rising from roughly 50,000 last year.

(Read MoreToyota Motor aims to double sales in China)

Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are another exciting segment, he said.

"The SUV sector is growing very quickly. It's the same phenomenon we've seen in other markets around the world, people like the elevated seating position, they like the utility of additional interior space, they like the profile and proportion of the vehicle from a styling perspective," he said.

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