GM's China sales drop 5% in second quarter, underperforms industry recovery

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Staff member cleans a General Motors Company (GMC) vehicle displayed at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai
Staff member cleans a General Motors Company (GMC) vehicle displayed at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai

BEIJING (Reuters) - General Motors Co's <GM.N> vehicle sales in China dropped 5.3% between April and June from the corresponding period last year, underperforming the industry average amid a recovery from the coronavirus fallout on the world's biggest auto market.

China's overall figure, which includes passenger and commercial vehicles, rose 4.4% in April and 14.5% in May, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), adding that it expected auto sales to grow 11% in June.

GM, China's second-biggest foreign automaker after Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE>, delivered 713,600 vehicles in the country in the second quarter, the company said in a statement, after reporting a drop of 43% in sales in the first quarter, due to the pandemic.

GM has a Shanghai-based joint venture in China with SAIC Motor Corp <600104.SS> which makes Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles. It has another venture, SGMW, with SAIC and Guangxi Automobile Group that produces no-frills minivans and has started making higher-end cars.

Sales of GM's mass-market brand Buick rose 7.8% while Chevrolet dropped 27.7% for the latest quarter. Sales of premium brand Cadillac fell 12%, GM said in a statement on Friday.

Sales of the no-frills brand Wuling grew 9.7%, but those of Baojun tumbled 30.7%.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Clarence Fernandez)