GM's new China head aims for 2014 sales rise of up to 10 percent

Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:56pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Norihiko Shirouzu

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - General Motors Co plans to boost China sales this year by as much as 10 percent and keep pace with the country's overall auto market for the rest of the decade, the new chief of the company's China operations said in an interview.

Matt Tsien, a Chinese-American, engineer-turned-executive with 37 years experience with GM (GM.N: Quote), said his mandate is not to radically change direction, but instead is one of continuity in order to sustain GM's "profitable growth" in the world's biggest auto market.

Tsien plans to achieve the objectives in part by focusing on China's increasing appetite for SUVs and luxury cars.

GM will also offer a range of affordable products in what Tsien described as a multilayered mega market, with maturing markets like Beijing and Shanghai and still-emerging auto demand in smaller inland cities all packed in a large geographical area roughly the size of the United States.

Tsien said GM expects China's overall vehicle market to grow 7 percent to 10 percent this year compared with 2013, roughly in line with industry forecasts.

Last year, China's overall sales rose 13.9 percent to 21.98 million vehicles.

In that relatively strong market environment, GM is "looking to at least track and maybe outpace (overall market growth) by a little bit," the 53-year-old executive told Reuters.

"We feel fairly optimistic about 2014."   Continued...

A Buick Riviera Concept car is seen at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, November 22, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer