GM retains lead over Volkswagen in China

General Motors Co outsold Volkswagen AG in China in 2012, as it retained its lead  among foreign automakers in the country for an eighth year, after sales of the US carmaker's Wuling mini vans rose to a record high.
Deliveries at GM and its Chinese joint ventures were up 11 per cent to a record 2.84 million vehicles, according to the Detroit-based automaker's website. According to Volkswagen, which unlike GM includes Hong Kong in its China sales, deliveries rose 24.5 per cent to 2.81 million.

Both carmakers, which count China as their biggest market, may up their reliance on the country, where over 20 million units are expected to be sold for the first time in 2013. GM has plans for addition of 400 dealerships, focused on the smaller cities in the country, while Volkswagen planned to invest 9.8 billion euros through 2015.

During October to December, according to Bloomberg calculations derived from subtraction of nine-month figures from the annual tally, GM overtook Volkswagen for a second consecutive quarter, delivering over 800,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, as against GM's 754,000 according to data.

The agency quoted Yale Zhang, Shanghai-based managing director of Autoforesight Shanghai Co as saying that there was a good chance that either company could come out on top in China sales this year.

He added, in the short term, VW would keep pretty strong momentum, with most of its models being new which should make 2013 and 2014 be strong years.

At GM, Wuling deliveries were up 12 per cent to 1.33 million, accounting for almost half of the company's total sales in the country.