The Chinese market last year took the title as world’s biggest car market from the United States and car manufacturers are scrambling to take a strong foothold in the east.
The number one overseas automaker in China is General Motors, which today announced plans to sell three million vehicles a year in China by 2015.
Not that selling three million cars by 2015 seems like a massive target given the company and its local partners sold 1.83 million cars last year and are expected to sell 2 million cars this year.
The extra one million will come from 25 new or revised models expected this year plus a more prominent focus on fuel-efficiency.
General Motors focus on China, now its biggest market for vehicle sales, is no doubt a sign of events to follow with other manufacturers shifting more focus and resources to compete in Asia.
“While both the U.S. and China markets are very important for GM, it is China where it will increase investment,” said Lin Huaibin, a Shanghai-based auto analyst at IHS Global Insight. In terms of industrywide sales, “the U.S. can't possibly retake China.”
Fuel efficient models in China will include hybrids, plug-ins and electric vehicles. For example General Motors' Volt plug-in car will go on sale in China come 2011.
Whilst Australian market managed to grab 251,827 sales for the first three months of this year, China saw 3.5 million plus new cars hit the road.
Last year the Chinese bought 13.6 million new vehicles, helped largely by government incentives for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. 2010 may see 16 million new vehicles sold.