24/7 Wall St. TV: GM China Sales Pass US For First Time In History

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GM is being pulled out of US soil by its roots. For the first time in history the company posted monthly sales in a foreign country that were higher than the domestic figure. GM’s November sales in China were up 110% last month to 177,339. GM’s sales in the US for the month were only 151,427. GM China sales include vehicles manufactured by joint ventures.

GM’s sales in China for the first eleven months of 2009 were 1.64 million. GM has sold 1.88 million cars in the US market during the same period.

The Chinese car market is growing at a current annual rate of over 50% year-over-year which should continue into 2010. The US market is running flat during a good month compared to 2008.  The lack of a recovery in consumer spending next year could keep total vehicles sales flat in this country.

There is every reason to believe that GM’s China sales in 2010 could be above 2.3 million and that US sales will barely break the 2 million mark.

The news shows how much GM’s fortunes have moved outside the US and why other car companies, particularly Ford (NYSE:F), are trying to improve their modest market shares in the world’s most populous nation. GM and VW are the market leaders in China. Other large global car companies are chasing them with only modest success.

GM has also elected to keep Opel and Vauxhall which is a sign that the company’s new board wants to keep the firm’s “three-legged stool” with large operations in Europe, Asia, and the US.

American taxpayers may make back the money that the put into GM, but the payment will probably come from China.

Douglas A. McIntyre