The new General Motors Co is looking to the fast-growing Far Eastern markets, especially China, the Detroit News reported on Wednesday.

When the dust settles from this automotive crisis, it'll be clear to see that Asia is the epicenter of growth, said Michael Dunne, managing director of JD Power and Associates' China operations.

China has overtaken the United States as the world's biggest auto market in H1 after June sales soared 36.5% from a year earlier, and its sales is expected to exceed 11 million vehicles this year.

The main markets of the Asia-Pacific region stretching from India to Japan are expected to generate combined sales of more than 21 million cars and trucks this year, roughly double the sales forecast for the United States, JD Power was cited as saying.

Whereas Europe and the United States may have matured, Asia is just getting started, Dunne said.

Right after its restructuring last Friday, GM has given up all its previous regional operation systems and withdrawn the establishment of operational areas in Latin America, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Instead it has settled its global operational base in Shanghai to coordinate its operations in various areas around the world.

Nick Reilly, the former Asia Pacific president was appointed as new head of international operations in Shanghai.

They're putting money on a strong horse. Reilly has a very good reputation, said analyst Jim Hossack at consulting firm AutoPacific Inc in Tustin, California.

Reilly has advantages in the post as he knows well GM's overseas operations after having worked for the automaker in many countries, including the Republic of Korea, Britain, Belgium, Mexico, the United States and China.

With US auto sales down dramatically, China may achieve that ranking as early as this year, the report said.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers raised its annual sales forecast to 11 million this week from 10.2 million after a record monthly sales growth in June. For the first half of 2009, Chinese vehicle sales were up 17.7% at 6.1 million.

US sales are expected to range between 10 million and 11 million vehicles this year, although a cash-for-clunkers program going into force later this month may increase demand.

In the first half of 2009, GM's sales with its Chinese venture partners were up 38% at 814,442 vehicles, including Wuling- brand mini-vehicles.