In yet another example of how easily US automakers are able to meet much more stringent emissions standards in other countries, General Motors and its joint ventures in China set new sales records in China for the first half of 2010 with a 49% increase for the same period last year, selling 1,209,138 units, according to a recent GM Press release.
GM sold more cars in China than it did in America in the first half of this year. In itself, that is not surprising, considering that there are easily three times as many consumers in China. In addition, those Chinese consumers were largely shielded from the Big Recession because China’s government quickly implemented a green-economy stimulus by investing $9 billion a month in building a new clean energy infrastructure.
GM’s Opel was up 143% from June 2009. The Chevrolet division’s sales, including the joint venture New Sail line, with the lowest emissions in its class, jumped 43.3 percent to 38,304 units, mostly due to the strong demand for the Cruze lower-medium sedan and record monthly demand for the New Sail small car of more than 9,000 units.
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While the Cadillac SRX luxury utility vehicle also sold nearly twice as many, it was only 1,100 units. China’s strict fuel economy regulations in 2008 were for 43 mpg for lighter cars and 21 mpg for heavier ones and applied not to fleet averages, but to each vehicle. Their requirement goes to a new average of both of 42 mpg by 2016.
Although China has had requirements that have exceeded ours in the past, the Obama administration has bypassed our stalemated Senate to decree an increase to average 35.5 mpg by 2016, a bigger percentage jump than we have ever seen, as this graph from Edmunds shows.
The fact that GM was able to break its own previous Chinese records do show that the American automaker is able to compete in a market where fuel efficiency and climate-friendliness standards are at European levels; greatly exceeding the lenient standards that US automakers battled to keep in this country.
It is sad that the US auto industry, by refusing to adapt to fuel efficiency and by resisting climate legislation in this country, ran an entire US city into the ground. Detroit is turning to back to pasture.
Yet, in nations with tougher rules, GM is already able to meet high fuel efficiency standards and thrive and Ford already does produce high mileage cars in Europe, like the 56 mpg Ka.
Image: Enjoy Traveling