China has proven to be a paradise for carmakers by becoming the first country to have sold over 20 million vehicles in a given year. Total wholesale deliveries jumped 14 percent to 21.98 million units in 2013 and may top 24 million this year, according to the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Sales of passenger vehicles in the country climbed 16 percent to 17.93 million in 2013, and may rise 9 percent to 11 percent this year. GM posted an 11-percent jump to 3.1 million in China in 2013, but that may not be enough to defend its eight-year crown against Volkswagen. VW has already exceeded its previous annual record by selling 2.9 million vehicles in China in the first 11 months of 2013.
Ford, meanwhile, was able to mitigate its late start in China thanks to the popularity of its Focus compact car. Ford was able to log a 49-percent surge in China to 935,813 units, outselling Toyota for the first time. Ford became the new No. 5 among foreign carmakers in China, Toyota dropped to No. 6. Toyota logged a 9-percent jump in sales to a record 917,500 units in and expects its deliveries to climb to over 1.1 million in 2014.
Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. also sold a record number of vehicles in China in 2013. By contrast, Chinese brands saw their combined market share at home shrink 1.6 percentage points to 40.3 percent, according to CAAM. Their exports dropped 8 percent, the first decline in five years, because of unstable overseas demand and insufficient competitiveness, the association said.