General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and its joint ventures reported that its sales in China declined by 4.8% to 248,815 vehicles in August. The largest U.S. automaker said the sales decline was primarily due to the weakness in the overall vehicle market.
In a statement, GM China President Matt Tsien said, “Amid the challenging market environment, we have remained focused on providing great products designed for China to meet the needs of our customers.” He added that consumers liked the recently launched Buick Excellent GT and Cadillac ATS-L and the vehicles achieved solid sales growth.
In July, GM reduced its annual auto industry sales growth in China to low-single digit range. The U.S. largest automaker previously estimated that China’s industrywide sales growth would be in the range of 6% to 8%.
GM is among the global automakers that invested billions of dollars in Chinese factories to keep up with the market that exceeded that growth of the United States in 2009, but recently reduced its industry-wide demand forecast.
GM stock performance
The stock price of GM declined to a nearly 2.5-year low on August 25 due to the negative impact of the slowdown of car sales in China, according to Bloomberg.
Over the past 52 weeks, GM shares traded between $24.62 and $38.99 a piece. The company lost more than 17% in stock value year-to-date. GM’s stock closed $28.90 per share, down by almost 1% on September 4.
GM received strong demand for SUV and MPV vehicles
For the first eight months of 2015, GM and its joint ventures sold 2,197,192 vehicles in China, up by 2.3% compared with the same period last year. According to the automaker, the sales growth was driven by the successful launch of new vehicles and improved mixed of SUV’s and MPVs.
GM said the strong demand for some of its SUV and MPV vehicles helped offset the market slowdown last month. The company’s Buick Envision and Baojun 560 achieved a 161.7% sales growth while the sales of Baojun 730 MPV more than doubled.
During the first eight months of this year, GM’s Buick recorded its best sales ever in China, up by 5.5% to 581,544 units. Buick’s sales growth was led by Excelle GT and Envision.
The Cadillac sales increased 12% to 49,186 units during the first eight months of the year as the ATS and ATS-L models reached a new high for period. GM’s sales of Baojun rose 282.5% to 223,367 units.
GM suffered a 7.4% sales decline for Chevrolet to 391,677 units from January to August. However, the automaker said its sales of the Trax urban SUV climbed 146.2%. The automaker’s Wuling sales dropped 8.1% to 948,643 units.