The financial fortunes of GM are getting an unexpected bump from China, the New York Times reports. Sales in the first half of the year jumped nearly 50%, resulting in a company milestone: For the first time, more cars were sold in China than in America. And while the company has whittled down to four brands in the US, it's about to launch its seventh for Chinese customers, who scoop up everything from $5,000 minivans to luxury Cadillacs.
“This is not some sort of flash-in-the-pan investment strategy,” says a research analyst with IHS Automotive. “During the bankruptcy process, GM China was the beacon in the night that GM always had in its back pocket, and China will be a vital cog in GM’s machine going forward.” The company—and US taxpayers have a 61% equity stake—is valued at $50 billion to $90 billion, with China worth about $15 billion of that.