This was bound to happen one day, and that day has finally come.
The day we all expected but hoped would never come has, well, finally come. China is now GM’s number one market place, beating out the US. GM and its joint venture partners have had a sales surge of 10.6 percent for the first half of 2013. That translates into nearly 1.6 million cars sold in that market, roughly 200,000 units ahead of GM’s US sales during that same time period. Interestingly, this sales gain comes at a time when China was showing signs of an economic slowdown while the US, especially in new car sales, was in the upswing.
But here’s the thing: GM isn’t the only US-based automaker that’s showing increased Chinese sales. Ford has reported a sales surge of 47 percent so far this year, with demand up by 44 percent in June alone. The President of GM China stated that "We have seen strong vehicle demand across China, particularly in the midsize, upper-medium, luxury and SUV segments." So what’s causing this to happen all at once? There’s anti-Japanese sentiment currently happening in China, meaning fewer people are buying Toyotas and Hondas, but American brands have always done better than their Japanese competitors in China.
The simplest answer may just be that more and more Chinese citizens are now able to afford new cars, and American brands are more appealing than both its Japanese and domestic counterparts. That's nothing new but even so, both GM and Ford are fully confident the Chinese market will only keep growing. GM has even stated that nearly three of every four vehicles it produces are now being sold outside the US.