General Motors is not giving up in China.
Despite slowing sales both at home and abroad in its fourth quarter and full-year 2019 results and an increasingly challenging environment worldwide, the US automaker has pledged to position itself for long-term growth, China.org.cn reported.
GM reported a full-year income of US$6.7 billions, down 17.4% from 2018, as a national strike cost the firm US$3.6 billion, the report said. Four weeks of vehicle production were lost in Q4 due to the work stoppage, reducing wholesales by 191,000 units year over year.
As for its performance in China, GM cited macro business pressures, lower demand for GM China’s outgoing models and slower adoption of new fuel-efficient technology as the main factors leading to falling sales and lower income, the report said.
GM and its joint ventures delivered 3,093,604 vehicles in China in 2019, down 15.1% from the previous year amid an overall sales downturn in China’s auto market.
“Despite these challenges, the company continues to strengthen its portfolio by focusing on high-growth SUV and luxury segments,” GM said in a statement.
The sales of its high-end brand Cadillac reached an all-time high of 213,717 units in 2019, an increase of 3.9%.
China has been GM’s largest retail sales market since 2012. GM believes that China’s vehicle market has entered a new era of high-quality development, in which product and service excellence will be the key to sustained growth, the report said.
Based on such an outlook analysis, GM China has tried to optimize its product mix, supported by new technologies and adjacent services, and explore opportunities in electrification and autonomous driving, the report said.
According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, a total of 25.769 million vehicles were sold last year in the country, down 8.2% from the previous year.
“During the downturn, we are focused on bolstering our product lineup and improving cost efficiency to position our company for strong performance in China over the long term,” said Matt Tsien, GM executive vice president and president of GM China.
GM China said that it will keep up its launch cadence across brands this year, following the introduction of more than 20 new and refreshed models in 2019.