GM Expected to Easily Surpass 2013 China Sales Total

Sep 24, 2014 07:44 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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General Motors expects to sell over three million vehicles in China for the second straight year in 2014, with its premium brand forecast to grow 40 percent.

The U.S. automaker's China President Matthew Tsien said on Wednesday that SUV, luxury, and compact vehicles are GM's main focus areas of growth in China, according to Reuters. He's said on multiple occasions GM plans to launch 60 new and upgraded vehicles through 2018 in the biggest auto market in the world.

"Cadillac certainly has momentum here in this country. We believe the luxury market here will become the largest in the world in 2016," Tsien said a media event in Shanghai, according to Reuters.

Tsien said Cadillac sales should easily exceed 70,000 vehicles this year, an increase from last year's 50,000.

The compact car market is also an important area for GM since it's the biggest segment of China's passenger car market, Tsien said while announcing the company's cumulative sales in China had reached 20 million units.

GM lost the top spot last year in China to rival automaker Volkswagen AG. The two companies have both announced aggressive expansion strategies.

VW plans to spend 18.2 billion euros ($23.39 billion) through 2018 in China, while GM plans to invest $12 billion in the country, according to Reuters.

GM sells cars under brands like Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Buick.

GM has recently introduced a number of new or upgraded vehicles to attract more customers, like its Buick Envision, Chevrolet Cruze and Cadillac ATS-L models.

GM and Shanghai Disney Resort have also reached an agreement under which Chevrolet will become the resort's official vehicle and will have a big presence at Shanghai Disneyland, which hasn't opened yet.

It was announced on Tuesday that General Motors will pay compensation for 21 deaths linked to a faulty ignition switch, which is more than the 13 deaths the automaker previously admitted were caused by the now recalled part.

Since Aug. 1, at least 675 claims for serious injuries or deaths believed to have been caused by the switch had been received by the program being overseen by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg.

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