The Chinese arms of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. both set sales records in June, but an economic report released Monday forecasts a slowdown in the world’s fastest-growing economy.
Ford set a passenger vehicle sales record for the third consecutive month in June in the world’s most highly populated country, and overall vehicle sales are up slightly during the first six months of the year, the Dearborn-based automaker said Monday.
The sales total of 52,440 — which includes passenger and commercial vehicle sales — rose 18 percent in June compared with the same month a year ago.
Passenger sales climbed 28 percent, thanks largely to the sale of the new Ford Focus, which continued to lead the company’s vehicle sales with nearly 15,000 sold.
Commercial vehicle sales dropped 1 percent; Ford attributed the decrease to a “slowdown in the commercial vehicle sector.”
Ford’s sales totals for the first six months of 2011 had about a 1 percent bump to 277,322.
GM, in comparison, posted record sales in China for the first half of 2012 and for June. The Detroit automaker said its sales of nearly 1.42 million commercial and passenger vehicles through the first six months of the year were up 11.3 percent compared with a year earlier.
Ford is realizing the gains of entry in China, though the company could still lose money in the Asia-Pacific-Africa region during the second quarter because of expenses relating to nine newly opened or currently under-construction facilities.
But the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which releases monthly economic indicators for major industrialized countries, says the Asian market is headed for a slowdown, China even more so than the Asian average.
Ford already noted “difficult market conditions” in India, where sales are slightly off last year’s pace.
Sales in Thailand, however, were up 44percent during the first half of the year.
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said recently the country faces “huge pressure” to decelerate and may need to introduce additional stimulus measures.
The forecast about China’s economy came after the Dearborn automaker already warned of international losses in Europe, an economy the OECD projects will continue its economic slowdown.
In June, GM sales in China rose 10.1 percent to 213,495 units compared with the same month a year ago.
“Despite signs of slowing economic growth in China, demand for GM products rose in all key segments in the first half of the year,” Kevin Wale, president and managing director of GM China Group, said in a statement. “We expect sales growth to remain steady in the second half, driven by demand in China’s interior provinces.”
Buick sales were up 5.7 percent in the first half of the year; Chevrolet sales rose 1.8 percent; Cadillac sales increased 3.8 percent and sales of its Wuling brand jumped 13.6 percent over the same six months of 2011.