1206 ford china
Women inspect the grill of a Ford Focus during a media preview at the Beiijng Auto Show. Sales of American cars in China are up this year. - 

Steve Chiotakis: Some good economic news today out of China for U.S. automakers who sell cars there.

From Shanghai, Marketplace China bureau chief Rob Schmitz reports.

Rob Schmitz: GM today reported its November sales in China shot up at their fastest pace in ten months; Ford reported its sales in China are up 7 percent this year -- all proof that in these tough economic times, somebody somewhere is buying something. That would be: people in China are buying cars.

Auto industry expert Michael Laske at AVL in Beijing says the China market for a company like GM is outpacing a sluggish European market.

Michael Laske: Year on year, the numbers are up, and I think the U.S. companies are starting to position themselves well in terms of the types of vehicles that the market wants.

And for China, it all starts with affordability. Salse of Ford's low-cost Mondeo model saw a 61 percent increase this year in China.

Laske: It's got to have good fuel economy. And the Chinese consumer wants to have good technology inside the car.

Like a GPS system. They'll need it to navigate the 400,000 miles of new roads the government says it built in the past five years in China.

In Shanghai, I'm Rob Schmitz, for Marketplace.

Follow Rob Schmitz at @rob_schmitz