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General Motors sold record 101,000 vehicles in China in January

General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, said it sold a record 101,926 vehicles last month in China, topping the 100,000-unit mark for the first time.

„This is an impressive achievement, considering the unprecedented competition from domestic and global automakers,” General Motors China's President Kevin Wale said today in an e-mailed statement. Shanghai GM, the carmaker's venture with China's biggest carmaker SAIC Motors Corp., sold 40,570 vans and cars in January, keeping its lead among the country's automobile assemblers. SAIC-GM-Wuling, GM's venture with SAIC in central China, sold 61,200 minicars and compact vans, the carmaker said without giving year-ago figures. Sales by GM and its Chinese partner jumped 31.8% to a record 876,747 vehicles last year. China's vehicle sales may rise 18% this year, as economic growth boosts demand in the world's second-biggest auto market, an industry group said. Automakers may sell 8.5 million vehicles in China this year, compared with 7.22 million last year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on its Web site on January 22. China's economy has grown by average of about 9% a year for the past decade, making vehicle ownership affordable for more people. GM, Volkswagen AG and other automakers sold 25% more vehicles in China last year, as sales in the country surpassed Japan's for the first time. (Bloomberg)