General Motors is spending around $14 billion in China from 2014 to 2018 despite experiencing slumping sales in the country. The investment entails opening five new sites that would increase GM’s capacity in the country to just below 5 million vehicles – a figure that is nearly double its sales in the United States last year.
GM China President Matt Tsien remarked to Automotive News that with the investment, China could become the largest market by the end of the decade. "We're poised to grow at a very rapid pace," he said. Auto sales in Chine grew just 3 percent last month and jumped 7 percent in the first nine months of 2014 – small figures compared to double-digit growth posted in last few years and to a 14-percent rise in 2013.
Cadillac saw its sales jump 51 percent in September in China, and is on track to sell 70,000 units for the full year. GM’s luxury brand could also achieve its 100,000 sales goal ahead of schedule next year.
While the figure still pales compared to Cadillac’s sales in the US at 182,543 autos, the brand’s rapid growth in China means the country becoming an important market to its future. Plans for China include introducing nine new models in the next five years while adding one locally built nameplate annually through 2016.
Shanghai General Motors Co., a joint venture between GM and SAIC Motor Corp., is building a dedicated Cadillac site in Shanghai that could produce up to 160,000 vehicles annually. China accounted for 20 percent of Cadillac’s total sales in 2013, compared to just 10 percent in 2010.