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GM predicts sales of 1 million autos in China for 2007

US auto giant General Motors (GM) expects sales in China to exceed 1 million vehicles in 2007, state media reported Thursday.

„We expect our sales this year in China to surpass 1 million units for the first time,” Kevin Wale, General Motor's China chief, told the China Daily, ahead of the start of the Shanghai auto show this weekend. If GM achieves its goal, the Detroit-based company will be the first foreign automaker to hit the 1-million-a-year mark in China.

Last year GM sold 876,747 vehicles in China and in the Q1 of 2007 has already sold 291,588 vehicles, up 25% from a year earlier. „This is an impressive achievement considering the tremendous competition. It has laid a solid foundation for the year as a whole,” said Wale. GM will invest $1 billion in China annually until 2010 and this year plans to introduce seven new and upgraded models in China, according to Wale. The US-automaker operates in China through a series of joint ventures through SAIC Motor Corp, the top Chinese auto group, and its locally-made models include Buick, Chevrolet and Wuling, an acquired local brand. The company also imports Cadillac, Saab and Opel. (