AUTOSHOW-GM sees big rise in China-made Chevrolet Sail next yr


GUANGZHOU, China, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Top U.S. automaker General Motors expects exports of its China-made Chevrolet Sail to jump 300 percent or more next year, a senior executive said.

GM started to export the Sail made at its flagship car venture with SAIC Motor Corp in January, shipping 5,000 units as of the end of October mostly to Chile.

"Next year, the growth will certainly be many times more than our 2010 number," Terry Johnsson, vice president for GM's China operations, told Reuters on the sidelines of the week-long Guangzhou autoshow. "At minimum, our business will be 10,000 units export for Sail. It could be 20,000 or even more."

Beijing unveiled tax incentives for small cars in 2009, a move which helped China eclipse the United States as the world's largest automarket in 2009 and continue to drive auto sales this year.

The incentives will expire at the end of the year and many industry insiders expect Beijing to scrap them in 2011.

Johnsson said he expected the Chinese vehicle market to continue to grow 10 to 15 percent in 2011 without the incentives. (Reporting by Fang Yan and Alison Leung; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)



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