General Motors Co. (GM) reported sales of 4.04 million vehicles in China in 2017, a third more than the 3.002 million the company sold in the United States. Included in the total for China are sales of Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet brands, as well as sales made by the company's joint ventures with China-based automakers Wuling and Baojun.
2017 marks the sixth consecutive year that China has been GM's top market. Sales of the Cadillac, Buick and Baojun brands set new domestic sales records.
Sport utility vehicle sales soared 37% year over year in 2017, and overall sales rose 4.4% for the year.
GM's best-selling brand was Buick, up just 0.2% in 2017 to 1.18 million units. For the month of December only, however, Buick sales rose 20.8% year over year.
Sales of the Chevrolet brand rose 4.2% for the year to nearly 550,000 units. In December Chevy sales rose 6.6% year over year to 78,661 units.
Cadillac sales increased by 50.8% compared with 2016 sales to nearly 175,500 units. December-only sales rose 29.5% to 17,217 units.
Matt Tsien, GM executive vice president and president of GM China, said:
Consumers' trust in our brands will help us achieve sustainable and high-quality growth going forward. We will continue to bring the right products and technology to market to meet increasingly diverse demands for personal mobility.
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Sales of the Baojun brand rose 44.8% to 996,629 units, compared with 2016 sales. The increase was led by the 510 small SUV, which was launched in February and became the brand's best-selling nameplate in 2017. Baojun also benefited from making automatic transmissions available across its mainstream lineup ahead of its entry-level rivals.
GM also launched two zero-emissions vehicles in China last year, the Buick Velite 5 extended-range and the Baojun E100.
GM stock traded up 2.5% at $43.88 in the noon hour Thursday, in a 52-week range of $31.92 to $46.76. The stock's 12-month consensus price target is $47.00.