General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. agreed to export more North American-built vehicles and parts to China in separate agreements signed Monday in Washington.
GM said it will sell and export $1 billion worth of vehicles, component kits, machinery and equipment to one of its Chinese partners, Shanghai General Motors, through 2010. Ford will sell more than 30,000 North American-built vehicles and will supply transmission components and parts to its joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., in a deal worth $800 million.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan attended the signing ceremonies for both agreements, which were timed to coincide with high-level economic talks this week between Chinese and U.S. officials in Annapolis, Md.
GM spokesman Greg Martin said fully assembled Cadillacs will make up the bulk of the exports to China. While Buick remains GM's most popular brand in China, sales of the luxury Cadillac brand shot up 148 percent last year to 7,022 vehicles, partly due to the new Cadillac SLS.
Shanghai GM, which was formed in 1997, is a 50-50 joint venture with Chinese carmaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. It sells Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Saab vehicles and has been the leading foreign joint venture by sales in China since 2005.
GM has eight joint ventures in China that have imported more than $4.2 billion in automotive products from the U.S. over the past 11 years, according to Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group.
Ford said it will announce later which vehicles will be exported. The company's Chinese sales rose 30 percent in 2007, and the Ford Focus was one of the 10 best-selling cars in the country. Changan Ford was formed in 2001.