In the race to become the highest selling foreign automaker in
the world's largest automobile market,
) has again emerged the leader. Notably, this is the second
consecutive year in which the company is poised to beat its peers
in China. The automaker recorded sales of over 1.8 million vehicles
in the first half of 2014 in the nation, marking an 18%
General Motors Co.
) trailed close with record high sales of 1.73 million units in
China, up 11% over the first half of 2013.
Toyota Motor Corp.
), the leading automaker in terms of global sales volume in 2013,
lagged Volkswagen and General Motors in China. Another major global
Ford Motor Co.
) posted record sales of 549,256 vehicles in China in the first
half of 2014. This translates into a 35% surge from 407,474
vehicles sold in the first half of 2013.
General Motors was the leading automaker in the nation for over
8 years, before Volkswagen usurped its position in 2013. The latter
seems on track to remain the top player in China this year as well,
though a lot can change in the next 6 months. As China is the
world's largest automobile market, sales in the nation play an
important role in determining the leading global player.
Volkswagen is targeting sales of over 3.5 million vehicles in
China this year. This target will be easily achieved if the
automaker continues to sell at the current pace.
To boost sales in China, Volkswagen is constructing 2 new plants
in the nation and increasing its dealer network to over 3,600
outlets from 2,395 in 2013. The car maker also plans to sell over
100 vehicle models by 2018, increasing significantly from 63 models
in 2013. Volkswagen is investing over 20 billion euros ($27
billion) in China.
General Motors is also investing heavily in the nation. It is
building 5 new plants in China, which will be operational by the
end of 2015 and will triple its exports from the nation. The
company plans to boost annual production capacity by 20% to 5
million vehicles by 2015 and by 65% till 2020.
In Apr 2014, General Motors announced that it plans to invest
$12 billion in China by 2017. This investment will be utilized for
expanding the manufacturing capacity of its SUV, crossover and
luxury car offerings in the country. The company will be launching
60 new or refreshed vehicles between 2014 and 2018 and 11 new
utility vehicles in China in the next 5 years.
General Motors expects sales in the Chinese market to grow 8% to
24 million vehicles in 2014. It also projects the overall Chinese
market sales to reach 33-35 million new units annually by 2020.
General Motors and Ford currently have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold),
while Toyota carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Volkswagen meanwhile,
has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
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