GM Jumps on Red-Hot China Auto Market

China's vehicle market has been so strong this year that General Motors expects its local annual sales to reach 3 million vehicles by 2015 and this year's local sales to race pass 2 million vehicles -- which would eclipse the company's schedule by four years.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- China's vehicle market has been so strong this year that General Motors expects its local annual sales to reach 3 million vehicles by 2015, and for this year's local sales to race pass 2 million vehicles, which would eclipse the company's schedule by four years.

In March, GM's China sales soared by 68% compared with the previous year, beating U.S. sales yet again. During the month, GM sold 230,048 vehicles in the country, compared with 188,546 in the U.S.

The president of GM's China operations, Kevin Wale, said in Shanghai Monday that the company's China sales will race pass U.S. sales again this year as vehicle demand there continues to soar nationwide in both rural and urban settings.

The company plans to launch 25 new or improved vehicle models in China by the end of next year in order to satisfy the robust demand.

In other GM news, readers may be interested to know that the Buick, which was once universally pigeonholed as a vehicle for elderly people, is beginning to acquire interest among younger, richer consumers, according to

The Detroit News

.

The transition, according to the report, can be attributed to a transformation in the brand's style and quality.

It was only a year ago when Buick looked like it had reached the end of its road. But the company's former CEO, Fritz Henderson, managed to persuade President Barack Obama's auto task force to retain the brand, given the red-hot Chinese auto market. In retrospect, that move appears prescient.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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