GM's sales in China hurt by weakening economy

A weakening economy plus stepped-up competition in the SUV market caused sales of General Motors vehicles in China to fall for a second straight year.

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GM wasn't alone as overall auto sales declined, according to Reuters.

GM saw a 15 percent drop in 2019 sales from a year earlier to 3.09 million vehicles, said General Motors in a statement.

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The company delivered 3.65 million vehicles in 2018 and 4.04 million units in 2017.

Sales of GM's affordable Baojun brand dropped 27.6 percent, Chevrolet tumbled 20.1 percent and Buick fell 16.7 percent.

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One bright spot saw Cadillac's sales increase 3.9 percent.

GM  working to improve cost efficiency, according to Matt Tsien, GM executive vice president and president of GM China, said in the statement.

Tsien also said that the downturn would continue in 2020.

The Chinese economy has slowed as the country and the U.S. have been engaged in a trade war with tariffs placed on various products.

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A phase one trade deal between the countries is expected to finally be signed later this month.