Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Sunday, 30 August 2009 12:21 UK

General Motors expands in China

 workers at the Jinbei plant in China
GM first began regular production in China in May 2001

General Motors has signed up to a 2bn yuan ($293m; £180m) joint venture with the Chinese state-owned carmaker FAW to make light trucks and vans.

The vehicles will initially be sold in China under the FAW brand, but could in future be exported under the GM brand.

They will be produced at existing FAW facilities in the cities of Changchun and Harbin.

GM sold 818,442 vehicles in China in the first six months of 2009, compared with 1,094,561 in the whole of 2008.

Demand was particularly strong for its minivans and other small vehicles.

"For us in China, this is an important complement to the rest of our portfolio," said Kevin Wale, managing director of GM's Chinese operations.

"We are well established in passenger vehicles and mini commercial vehicles and we haven't had a presence in the truck segment."

GM makes Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles in a joint venture with Chinese manufacturer SAIC Motor Corp.

It also makes minivans, pick-up trucks and the Spark compact car in a venture with SAIC and Liuzhou Wuling Automobile.

GM has recently emerged from bankruptcy protection in the US and has seen its sales fall year-on-year in most of its Western markets, so China is a key area of growth.

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