Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

April 24, 2014

GM boosting production capacity to 5 million in China

BEIJING (AP) — The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million.

Speaking at the Beijing auto show, Dan Ammann said the company also expects sales of its Cadillac luxury cars to double to 100,000 next year.

General Motors Co. and its Chinese partners are in the midst of what the company has said is a $12 billion investment program through 2017.

Matt Tsien, president of GM China, said that includes three factories due to open this year and two more next year. He said they would raise the capacity for production of GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million.

”I think the addition of the several new plants currently under construction will help us reach the capacity of 5 million units by the end of 2015,” Tsien said.

GM is neck and neck with Germany’s Volkswagen AG to be China’s most popular vehicle brand. GM said earlier that its 2013 sales rose 11.4 percent to 3.1 million vehicles.

Ammann said the company expects to grow at least as fast as the market this year. Forecasters expect the overall market to expand by 8 to 10 percent. That could raise GM sales to 3.4 million.

”We are moving full speed to keep up,” said Ammann. “We count on China for another record year in 2014.”

The company plans to increase production capacity in China by 65 percent by 2020, Tsien said.

The company said it, along with local partners, will invest $12 billion in China between this year and 2017.

GM manufactures sedans, minivans and pickup trucks in joint ventures with state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industries Co. and Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co. The three companies also launched a separate low-cost brand, Baojun.

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