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GM hopes to double Chinese car sales by 2015

One photo is of two models standing in front of The Envision, a sleek Buick concept car, a plug-in hybrid SUV with a panoramic roof and scissors doors.

One photo is of two models standing in front of The Envision, a sleek Buick concept car, a plug-in hybrid SUV with a panoramic roof and scissors doors.

The Chevy Malibu 2013 on display at the Shanghai Auto Show.

The Ford Vertek on display at the Shanghai Auto Show.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: There are a couple of big auto shows opening this week in New York and Shanghai. And General Motors is really going all out -- in one of 'em: The one in China, where it has big plans over the next few years.

Marketplace's China Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz got a look at the Shanghai Auto Show and he's with us now. Hey Rob.

ROB SCHMITZ: Hey Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: GM says it wants to double the amount of cars it sells in China in the next five years to 5 million cars. Do you think they can do it?

SCHMITZ: That's going to to be tough. But this is the fastest growing automobile market in the world. And that's why GM's introducing 60 new and upgraded models in the next five years here. As to whether doubling sales is possible? I posed that question to Michael Dunne, an analyst and author of an upcoming book about GM, and here's what he said:

MICHAEL DUNN: They won't get it easily. The Germans are here, the Japanese, the Koreans, and the Chinese are fighting too. To make that mark -- five million in five years -- will be an incredible triumph if they get there.

But GM is sure acting like it's possible -- this morning the car maker chose this auto show for the worldwide launch of its new 2013 Chevy Malibu -- now that's a first.

CHIOTAKIS: What are other automaker's doing there Rob?

SCHMITZ: Ford plans to roll out fifteen new vehicles in China over the next four years. That doesn't sound like much compared to GM's plans, but Ford arrived to China later than GM did, so unlike the U.S. market where Ford's beating GM in sales, it's selling less than half of what GM sells in China.

CHIOTAKIS: That's Marketplace China Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz, joining us from Shanghai. Thanks, Rob.

SCHMITZ: Thanks, Steve.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

One photo is of two models standing in front of The Envision, a sleek Buick concept car, a plug-in hybrid SUV with a panoramic roof and scissors doors.

The Chevy Malibu 2013 on display at the Shanghai Auto Show.

The Ford Vertek on display at the Shanghai Auto Show.

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