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GM’s 2020 China sales drop for third year as pandemic hits market

FILE PHOTO: Buick's new SUV GL8 of GM is displayed during the media day for Shanghai auto show

BEIJING (Reuters) -General Motors Co’s vehicle sales in China fell 6.2% in 2020, as the U.S. automaker suffered a prolonged sales slowdown in the world’s biggest auto market.

GM, China’s second biggest foreign automaker, delivered 2.9 million vehicles in the country last year, the company said on Wednesday, for a third straight decline in annual sales.

But sales have been recovering in the second half of last year, up 12% between July and September and 14% in the final three months.

GM has a Shanghai-based joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp, in which the Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicle brands are made. It also has another Liuzhou-based venture, with SAIC and Guangxi Automobile Group, in which they make no-frills minivans and have started to make higher-end cars.

Sales of its Buick brand grew 4% on the year and Wuling rose 9%, the statement said. Luxury brand Cadillac’s sales increased 8%.

Sales of GM’s more affordable Baojun brand dropped 33% last year, while sales of its mass-market Chevrolet tumbled 30%.

GM had delivered 3.09 million vehicles in China in 2019 and 3.65 million vehicles in 2018.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh, editing by Louise Heavens)

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