In Japan, General Motors has high hopes, low sales

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Associated Press

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 3:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 3:33 AM

TOKYO (AP) — General Motors says it's in Japan for the long haul despite sales of Cadillac and Chevrolet models barely surpassing 1,000 vehicles a year.

There has never been much appetite in Japan for left-hand drive gas guzzling U.S. autos and there are many informal barriers to foreign automakers making it here.

But GM executives see a glimmer of hope in the fact sales of its mainstay nameplates have doubled in the past three years.

They're trying to lure Japanese buyers with the new Cadillac CTS and Chevrolet Corvette which they say boast better quality and mileage.

GM Japan Managing Director Sumito Ishii declined to give a sales target Wednesday, but said part of the Detroit automaker's sales strategy is to approach first-time buyers who may not have preconceptions about GM.

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