General Motors (GM) is a US carmaker that was the world’s biggest, although Toyota is challenging it for the title. It was hard hit by the global financial crisis, needing a government bailout, but emerged from chapter 11 reorganisation in 2009, and held an initial public offering in 2010. It returned to profit in 2011.
GM and partner SAIC recall 1.5m cars
Mainland action counters potential hazards in Buicks and Chevrolets, while Ford also acts
General Motors' mainland joint venture will recall almost 1.5 million vehicles due to potential safety issues in one of the biggest recalls in the world's biggest car market.
Shanghai General Motors, GM's venture with SAIC Motor, will recall about 1.46 million Buick and Chevrolet models produced on the mainland due to issues with a bracket that secures the fuel pump, the mainland's quality watchdog said yesterday.
Some of the recalled vehicles include the Chevy Sail that is exported to emerging markets, a Shanghai-based General Motors official said.
Separately, the watchdog said Ford Motor's joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile will recall almost 81,000 of its Kuga cars over a steering part.
Yale Zhang, head of Shanghai-based consulting firm Automotive Foresight, said that the GM recall was big in number because both the affected models - the Buick Excelle and the Chevrolet Sail - are high-volume, mainstream cars, but the cause of the recall did not appear too serious.
"GM has warned that the affected component might crack after long use and lead to fuel leakage, but in real life it doesn't appear to have happened," Zhang said.
"There are so many recalls these days, and some automakers call back products proactively more as a precaution. In this case, the recall shouldn't affect GM's reputation in China that much."
United States carmakers on the mainland have generally outpaced growth in the overall market, boosted by their popular product line-ups and partly as Japanese rivals were hit last year by anti-Japan protests following a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.
GM sold 2.89 million vehicles on the mainland in the first 11 months of this year, up 11.4 per cent from a year earlier, while Ford sold 840,975 vehicles, a gain of 51 per cent.
Total mainland vehicle sales rose 13.5 per cent year on year in the first 11 months of the year to 19.86 million, with car sales up 15.1 per cent to 16.15 million, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Last month, Volkswagen's mainland unit recalled 640,309 vehicles to check they were using mineral oil rather than synthetic oil to avoid gearbox-related electronic flaws.
That was part of a broader global recall over a range of issues with several models. The German carmaker also pulled 207,778 Tiguan compact sports utility vehicles off the road due to a risk of a partial light malfunction.
GM makes vehicles on the mainland in partnership with both FAW Group and SAIC. Ford has manufacturing and sales ventures on the mainland with Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors.