2011 Chevrolet Cruze Helps Boost GM China Sales

GM reported a sales growth of 50 percent in China for the month of April compared to last year, led by sales of the Buick and SAIC-GM-Wuling brands and the newly-introduced Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan.

GM sold a total of 151,084 vehicles in China last month, thanks to burgeoning sales of the Buick and SAIC-GM-Wuling brands. The Buick Excelle sedan, which isn’t sold in the U.S., saw its sales increase 120 percent from a year ago to 22,078 vehicles. Overall Buick sales jumped to 38,071 units in April. Meanwhile, GM’s SAIC-GM-Wuling joint-venture saw its sales rise 60.6 percent from a year ago, to 95,544 units.

But GM said the record monthly sales were also helped by the new Opel Insignia-based Buick Regal sedan, and the all-new Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan. GM China sold 6,368 Regals and 3,739 Cruzes. GM says April was the first month for Cruze sales.

Sales in the U.S. have been depressed by the Great Recession, while sales in China have slowed but continued to grow. China has been the bigger market for every month so far this year, a trend that could indicate China has finally replaced the U.S. as the world’s largest auto market. GM sold about 170,000 vehicles this April, compared with almost 260,000 last year. It said it will attempt to double its sales in China to 2 million within the next five years.

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