China’s Number One!

Number one auto market, that is.

Sales of vehicles in China hit a record last month, underlining the country’s rise in the market as carmakers in the US scramble to avoid bankruptcy.

Chinese people eager to leave behind the age of the bicycle bought 1.10 million vehicles in March, up some five per cent from the previous record of 1.06 million in March last year, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.

The number cemented China in its position as the world’s largest car market, outstripping even the US.

And meanwhile, those crummy US automakers?

Ford Motor expects to grow faster than the overall China market this year, banking in part on policy support to lift sales of its new Fiesta small car rolled out last month.

Regardless of its miseries back home, General Motors said it sold 137,004 vehicles in China in March, up 24.6 percent from a year earlier. Its minivehicle joint venture, SAIC-GM-Wuling, saw sales surge 38 percent to 90,784 vehicles. Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group, attributed the strong showing to a wide product lineup, and forecast that the company will double its sales, to more than 2 million a year, by 2014.

We’ll see whether the predictions actually bear out. Chinese "policy support" has a way of waxing and waning, IMO. 

The GM minivehicle, btw, is a Chevy Spark, with which GM is doing fairly well in developing countries. 

13 replies
  1. BoxTurtle says:

    At least there’s a market somewhere.

    When Bush was asking for Chinese help in this crisis, their response was “Sure, and let’s talk about Taiwan as well”.

    Did Obama deal, or did the Chinese simply decide to work with the new admin? Or (most likely) the Chinese government has no hand in this either way and is just letting the market take it’s course.

    I think that Chinese automakers would be big customers at the GM/Chrysler fire sale if it happens. And they might be the ONLY customers. So good numbers in China would support a better price. Did GM up their marketing budget for China recently?

    Boxturtle (Spark seems kinda blah to me, but then I prefer 8cyl ticketmobiles)

  2. barne says:

    I don’t know how the styling departments at the Big Three got so far behind. I’m picturing a lot of class ring, i.d. bracelet types interfering in style decisions.

    • freepatriot says:

      guess Obama will just have to muddle thru with that lowly degree from Harvard Law

      but this is really gonna hurt him later in life, like in about 10 years, when he’s looking for a new job

      he’s still a young man

      and that ain’t gonna look good on the ol resume …

    • bmaz says:

      We have standards at ASU. If you, as the putative Presidential nominee of your party lead the Senate and House in a vote to completely gut the Fourth Amendment, and then as President reinforce every shitty policy of the Bush/Cheney clan as far as warrantless wiretapping/surveillance and most of their bogosity on illegal detentions and torture, you simply are not fit to be awarded an honorary degree from ASU. It is really that simple.

      That is my story and I’m sticking to it.

      • freepatriot says:

        so, how does the Tempe ABBY-Normal School feel about OUR President ???

        I bettin their mcstain supporter alumni don’t like Obama either

        thanks folks, I need the fruit

  3. freepatriot says:

    well, if the former fed can do it, another off-topic thread hijacking here:

    I’m enjoying the hell out of the teabaggers, and the freepers flipping out over Obama’s supposed bow

    the chicago teabaggers told mike steele to fuck off and die, he ain’t welcome to their little misnamed protest (and wouldn’t it be funny if the San Francisco teabaggers get involved ??? CNN might not show that protest/orgy)

    and over at freeperville, they’re arguing about the time presnit bunnypants was photographed bowing to that saudi dude

    turns out, presnit george was just accepting a medal from the saudi guy

    nobody ever asked what presnit bunnypants ever did to deserve a medal from the saudi guy ??? (for heroically sucking ass, and surrendering America’s sovereignty maybe ???)

    we now return you to “china ascendant”, your officially sanctioned topic …

  4. dosido says:

    hey EW, o/t but was reading the Panetta thread and saw you are/were going to write about Freeh. Look forward to your take. I watched the Frontline thingy on Black Money and Freeh was totally fine with a arms deal going right around Congress. What a patriot!

    The LA Times pointed out that the Black Money piece was somewhat overshadowed by the banksters developments in US ie the DOJ looks a little holier than thou going after BAE when we have gobs of financial fraud in our own backyard.

    I did appreciate the Black Money episode for pointing out how widespread and common international bribery is. For the working Joe just trying to make the mortgage, it’s an eye opener. The British PR advisor (forget his name, worked for Thatcher?) provides a huge “tell” when the reporter asks him if Britain is a country of Rule of Law. His face goes right down as if he’d been slapped and says “we most certainly are a nation of laws”.

    I repeat my philosophical question: Given the vast power and resources of international business, what is a country?

  5. bobschacht says:

    Another shout out for bmaz: What’s with ASU, asking Obama to speak at their commencement, but saying they won’t give him an honorary degree? How stupid is that?
    They’re going to have to eat crow on that one, I bet.

    Whoops–FormerFed @ 4 is referring to the same thing. I missed that “Tempe Normal School” was code for ASU. Sorry for piling on.

    Bob in HI

  6. JohnLopresti says:

    I had recalled China’s offering excuses at Kyoto but no signature on the treaty, like Bush + Co., and probably I had a recollection of a common news photo around the time of the Beijing olympics of the ForbiddenCity Smog. The Netherlands’ version of the EPA follows greenhouse gas emissions in China, announcing with graphs, as of 2007 China was numberOne in carbon dioxide pollution, with the USA in close second place. The image of the Pasadena Rose Parade rescheduled into May appeared as a hypothetical contrast to the Forbidden City’s notorious air pollution, photos before and after; in the image the vanished mountains are three miles from the parade route, obliterated by smog which prevailing winds import from metro LA seasonally. Pasadena continues with the clean air time of year on New Years Day for the pageant. However, initial concepts dissolved upon my discovery of a China smog wiki, which lists the megapolises with the thickest toxic airbrew; it turns out that the prime polluters in China are coal and cement factories, not the automobile, yet.

  7. Leen says:

    We’re number 9 we’re number 9. Or would it be “we’re number 2″

    I keep imagining what the hell American citizens will yell as our economic ship sinks

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