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General Motors Co. (GM - Analyst Report) and its joint ventures in China recorded a 12% year-over-year increase in sales in the nation in Jan 2014, taking the figure to 348,061 vehicles. The improvement was mainly attributable to strong domestic sales at Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling and record high performance by the Buick and Wuling brands.

Sales at Shanghai GM rose 11.4% to 171,856 vehicles in China. Sales by SAIC-GM-Wuling stood at 172,852 vehicles, up 13.9% year over year. However, FAW-GM’s products’ demand in China declined 26.1% year over year to 3,319 vehicles.

GM offers a wide range of vehicles and brands in China. The different brands for passenger cars and commercial vehicles are Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang, Opel and Wuling.

Buick brand’s sales in China improved 15.7% to 100,127 units in Jan 2014. The improvement was driven by a 44.2% increase in the combined sales of Excelle XT and GT vehicles to 34,176 units. Vehicles sales of the GL8 family surged 114.8% to 11,973 units. Encore SUV sales went up 14.9% to stand at 9,052 units.

Sales of the Cadillac luxury vehicle brand witnessed a phenomenal 265.7% rise to 5,741 units in Jan 2014. Sales benefited from a 96.1% increase in SRX sales and the launch of XTS.

Sales of Wuling increased 13.2% to 163,886 units in the month. The best selling model under the brand was the Hong Guang family, which recorded a 69.9% rise in sales. Sales of Baojun grew 27.8% to 8,966 units.

However, sales of Chevrolet declined a marginal 0.2%, bringing the number to 65,988 units. Cruze sales were 22,621 units and Sail family sales stood at 21,989 units.

GM is a leading global automotive company. The company has twelve joint ventures and two wholly owned foreign enterprises in China and employs around 58,000 workers. It currently holds a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). GM’s rival Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) posted a 53% jump in sales to 94,466 wholesale vehicles in China in Jan 2014.

Some better-ranked automobile stocks worth considering are Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA - Analyst Report) and Dongfeng Motor Group Company Limited (DNFGY). Tesla sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Dongfeng carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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