Autos

GM's third-quarter China vehicle sales down 17.5%, as US automakers cede ground

Key Points
  • General Motors' July to September vehicle sales in China fell 17.5%.
  • The U.S. automaker was hurt by a slowing economy amid the Sino-U.S. trade war and by heightened competition in its key mid-priced SUV segment.
  • The drop for the quarter ended September 30 marks the fifth straight quarterly sales decline for GM in China, the world's biggest auto market.

General Motors' July to September vehicle sales in China fell 17.5%, as the U.S. automaker was hurt by a slowing economy amid the Sino-U.S. trade war and by heightened competition in its key mid-priced SUV segment.

GM delivered 689,531 vehicles in China in the third quarter this year, according to a company statement. The drop for the quarter ended September 30 marks the fifth straight quarterly sales decline for GM in China, the world's biggest auto market.

It delivered 2.26 million vehicles in the first nine months this year, according to Reuters calculation.

As GM and Ford Motor's China sales extend declines, U.S. car companies' share of total China passenger vehicle sales fell to 9.5% in the first eight months of this year from 10.7% in the year-ago period, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Laborers work in the Qingdao branch of SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile in Qingdao, China.
STR | AFP | Getty Images

Over the same period, German carmakers' share has risen to 23.8% from 21.6% and Japanese automakers' to 21.7% from 18.3%.

In China, GM has a joint venture with SAIC Motor, in which the Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac are made. It also has another venture, with SAIC and Guangxi Automobile Group, in which they make no-frills minivans and have started to make higher-end cars.

GM, the second-biggest international automaker in China by sales, sold 3.64 million units in China last year, down from 4.04 units in 2017.

Sales of GM's affordable brand Baojun dropped 34.9% for the latest quarter, while sales of the mass-market Buick fell 20.6%. But luxury brand Cadillac's sales jumped 10.9%.

Annual industry car sales in China fell last year for the first time since the 1990s, and they are expected to fall this year too. Sales dropped 6.9% in August from the same month a year prior, CAAM said.

An official at the association said last month that in the next three years the industry could see "low or small negative growth."

CAAM is set to announce September sales next week.

Next Article
Key Points
  • Houston Rockets sneakers and other merchandise were pulled from several Nike stores in major Chinese cities.
  • The move came amid the furor surrounding a tweet from the team's general manager in support of anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
  • Managers at five Nike stores in Beijing and Shanghai told Reuters during visits on Thursday they had been told in recent days via a memo from management that all Rockets merchandise had to be removed.