Speaking at the launch of his company's Kunpeng concept car, Philip Murtaugh, head of China operations of General Motors, forecast that overall car sales in China would grow by at least 10 per cent annually for the foreseeable future. For this year he forecast overall growth of 15 per cent, with a 10 to 12 per cent expansion for the commercial vehicle market.
GM sold 264,101 vehicles in China last year, accounting for 7.7 per cent of the national market, compared with 5 per cent in 2001. The Kunpeng was designed by Pan Asia Technical Automotive Centre, a 50-50 joint venture between GM and Shanghai Auto Industry Corp. GM hopes to offer Chinese buyers financing packages within three months.
Output of domestically-made passenger cars rose by 127 per cent year-on-year to 398,000 units during the first three months of 2003, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.