GM sales growth slows amid intensifying competition
General Motors posted its slowest annual growth in China for the past five years as sales climbed 19% to 1.03 million vehicles last year, China Auto News reported. Market observers argued the slowdown was due to a lack of competitive new medium-sized models and intensifying competition from Volkswagen, its largest competitor in China, Toyota, and Ford. GM's flagship Buick Excelle sedan lost sales to Volkswagen’s Skoda Octavia and Ford’s Focus last year. Volkswagen, China’s second largest foreign automaker after GM, sold over 910,000 vehicles last year, up 28%year-on-year, which raised its market share by one percentage point to 18%. Its sales are expected to exceed one million this year. Japan's Toyota posted 62% sales growth to sell 499,000 units. According to CEO Rick Wagoner, GM plans to gradually cede ground to Toyota in the US and hopes to realize 75% of its sales outside its home market in 10 years, the newspaper reported.