The GM China Group says its SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co. Ltd. mini-commercial vehicle joint venture has become the first auto maker to sell 1 million vehicles in a single calendar year in China.

SAIC-GM-Wuling’s sales are up 60% year-over-year, thanks mostly to government incentives being offered to purchasers of that vehicle class.

The Wuling Sunshine minivan set a national record by becoming the first model in China to achieve sales of more than 500,000 units.

“One of the primary reasons for our record sales is the Chinese government stimulus policy, which is encouraging rural residents to upgrade from farm vehicles to more efficient minivehicles,” Yang Jie, general manager of SAIC-GM-Wuling Sales Co., says in a statement.

The JV will participate in the planned GM- Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp. JV operation in India that will produce SAIC-GM-Wuling vehicles for sale in that burgeoning market.

SAIC-GM-Wuling was launched in 2002, with the GM China Group holding a 34% stake, SAIC holding 50.1% and Wuling Automobile Co. Ltd. holding 15.9%.

In addition to minivans and minitrucks, the JV produces the Chevrolet Spark. It operates plants in Liuzhou, in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and in Qingdao, Shandong.