Time to spread the designs global.
General Motors plans to sell cars in the United States that it makes in China, starting in 2011. That could make GM the first major automaker to import Chinese cars to the U.S. market.
The car maker expects to sell about 17,335 of the China-made vehicles in the United States in 2011, and triple that number to 51,546 in 2014, a planning document circulated by GM among U.S. lawmakers shows.
The gains would come, the document says, as GM's total U.S. sales surge 50 percent in the next five years. The plans are subject to change pending the outcome of negotiations with the UAW.
Many of these vehicles are likely to be small cars similar to the upcoming Chevy Spark, which will be built in South Korea, though the models will be different from any currently built in the United States by any automaker, an industry official said in an interview.
Even at the higher 2014 level, though, cars from China would still account for only 1.6 percent of GM's 3.1 million total expected sales in the U.S. that year, the 12-page document says.