In case you didn't know, Volkswagen is hell-bent on becoming the largest automaker in the world. The German carmaker has inched closer to that goal, having outsold General Motors in China last quarter for the first time in eight years.

Volkswagen's sales in China, its largest marker, increased by 21 percent last quarter to 704,991 units. Those numbers almost tripled GM's third-quarter growth, and were enough to beat out the American automaker's 664,765 sales. GM, however, still leads in year-to-date sales in China by a slim margin of around 77,000 units. The Asian nation also happens to be GM's largest market, and according to the report in Automotive News, China's car market may grow to be larger than the US, Japan and Germany combined in three years' time.

About the news his company was bested in China by VW last quarter, GM CEO Dan Akerson is quoted saying, "It's not whether you're the biggest car manufacturer. It's whether you want to be the most profitable." It should be noted of these figures that GM includes truck figures, yet excludes Hong Kong and Macau from its Chinese sales numbers, while VW does just the opposite. Through September of this year, Volkswagen had 5 of the 10 best selling vehicles in China. GM boasted three of the cars on that list.

One car not on China's Top 10 list is the Malibu. Though GM's second-best selling car in the US, it has been called a "disaster" by Lin Huaibin of IHS Global Insight. The roughly 29,000 units sold were apparently unable to hang with VW's Skoda competitor.

The Automotive News report cites anti-Japanese sentiments and older GM product as reasons for Volkswagen's third quarter rally. Other brands with increased sales included Hyundai, Kia and Ford, citing that the jump in sales for these brands helped their parent companies counter losses incurred in the beleaguered European car market.


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  • 52 Comments
      Spessmehreen
      • 2 Years Ago
      The People's Car. The People's Republic. I'd say it was destiny.
      Banf_1
      • 2 Years Ago
      ...and Piëch slowly leans back in his arm chair, gently petting his fluffy cat, and mutters something quickly in German then breaks out in a gradually ascending evil laugh.
      oollyoumn
      • 2 Years Ago
      I currently have a GM car in the garage and I an seriously considering replacing it with a VW, possibly next year. I'm not sure yet, but so far the order is VW, Ford, Toyota, or possibly a Nissan. I'm very disappointing with GM and their products. They have nothing I would consider to be even above average, let alone a top contender.
        oollyoumn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @oollyoumn
        I rarely go back an read comments to me, since most are from fanbois that lack any real experience and objectiveness, but my browser was on the same page when I got in this morning. Since there were some lame attempts to guess what type of person I am, here are some details. I consider my self a-political, mostly because neither party interests me. I'm from Michigan, but graduated with an engineering degree from down the road at Purdue. I come from an almost all GM family, have had relatives work at GM, and have known many who worked at GM over the years. I've known a number of A-buyers that, in spite of the discounts, buy other brands. I've owned no less than 10 GM cars over the years, and still have two.I've also owned many other brands from about 7 different countries. I currently have a Toyota that parks just feet from the GM cars. From my experience GM cars are below average on design and quality. My Toyota is more reliable, cost less to insure, cost less to maintain and is nicer to drive. Everyone in the family prefers traveling in the Toyota. Surprisingly, even when two of the cars where caught in hail parked beside each other, the GM car was more costly to repair. I say surprisingly because the Toyota has an aluminum hood, and I expected that to be costly to repair. I won't list all the problem I've had with my GM cars, because I don't have the time or interest. It's been a long time since I've owned a VW, but I would take a VW over my GM cars without hesitation. BTW, there are very good engineers from other countries, including some of the best engineers at GM. If you checked, you may find that most of GM's engine technology and design that does not revolve around push rods, comes from other countries.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @oollyoumn
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          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Wm
          • 2 Years Ago
          Hey Cmicasa the Great Xv , your mom called, she wants you to bring her Cavalier back.
          BYALTF
          • 2 Years Ago
          Wow! Me thinks someone trying to compensate for something.
          • 2 Years Ago
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          • 2 Years Ago
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        redgpgtp97
        • 2 Years Ago
        @oollyoumn
        Ahh what a shame....Must be a Romney supporter I can tell. Not a mention of Chrysler in your choices either. After most of GM's models are now getting "good buy" recommendations from many if not most of the automobile review magazines, you can't find one you like?
          Lunch
          • 2 Years Ago
          @redgpgtp97
          Yes, good buy alright, but even the Chinese don't want it. The China market is say Good Bye GM, not Good Buy.
      • 2 Years Ago
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      RJC
      • 2 Years Ago
      With all the VWs being sold in China,I hope they have a local version of AAA. They're going to need it.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM CEO Dan Akerson is quoted saying, "It's not whether you're the biggest car manufacturer. It's whether you want to be the most profitable." Wise words.
        rlog100
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        That's the same mentality that guided GM in the 80's and 90' which saw them loose their marketshare and their legacy costs per car skyrocket. Being the most profitable is inherently short lived in the auto industry. Being profitable in a sustainable way requires a completely different attitude.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
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        ChrisTT
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        Wise words for sure but you imply that VW is less profitable than GM, don't you? VW's profit per quarter is higher than GM's annual profit.
        TPGIII
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        Dan Akerson also made the statement that "We've got to get this company and the culture into the 21st Century." Akerson also told workers the company is behind competitors on engine and transmission technology. And this was in August of 2012. More wise words from Dan. Tells me I can get a better product elsewhere, probably Volkswagen.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
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        Lachmund
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        not wise but honest
        Choice
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        I see GM hasn't changed their philosophy... and how's that been working for them ???
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      There is a major auto-crash coming in China soon. The economy is slowing down there in a major way, so any growth figures are going to be woefully inaccurate. The government is also slowing the rate of registering new vehicles to stem the traffic and unrealisitc infrastructure expenditures and developments. And just wait until they are forced to revalue their currency to non-discount levels. Ouch.
      lrx301
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a natural choice when people start to know more about cars. they'll choose fun to drive over ostensible looking, bigger is better and etc.
        TBN27
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lrx301
        Okay then so why are people still buying Corolla's and Camrys in droves here in the U.S.?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TBN27
          [blocked]
      Lunch
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh, I see even the Chinese are realizing that GM makes a poor product. Something we've know for a long time here.
      delsolo1
      • 2 Years Ago
      If it was up to Romney, Volkswagen would not have GM as a competitor in China. No matter what he says now or in the next ten seconds.
      sinistro79
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unlike GMs position in the USA as a communist automaker who relies on Govt funds to exist, you'd think that this would be a selling point for them in Communist China. Somebody needs to fire the head of marketing for GM in China asap. You can't make this stuff up when it's so obvious.
      • 2 Years Ago
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        Wm
        • 2 Years Ago
        Not sure where you're getting your numbers from, but Associated Press said on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 6:19 AM EDT "Volkswagen group net profit rose to €11.38 billion ($14.8 billion) from €7.14 billion in the same quarter last year..." That will likely beat GM and Ford net profits for the entire year. If any company has been obsessed with numbers sold it's GM. They have, and continue to do creative accounting to boost their sales numbers, and went bankrupt trying to keep their numbers artificially high. You can't blame the union either, since VW is union also, and has VW has over twice as many employees. There is no doubt that VW is obsessed with being number one, but there is no sign they are for going any profits to get there. Actually Toyota profits far exceed GM and Ford too. Not sure where you get your data, or is it just wishful thinking?
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