The Buick Excelle GT is one of General Motors' best sellers in China. It's a close sibling to the Buick Verano that GM sells here. Photo credit: General Motors Co.

Even while it was spiraling toward bankruptcy here in the United States, General Motors (NYSE:GM) was building an impressive success story in China. China has become the world's largest new-vehicle market, and GM has continued to lead it, as Chinese car-buyers have embraced familiar brands such as Chevrolet and Buick.

GM's leadership position in China is in danger, though: Through the first eight months of 2013, archrival Volkswagen (NASDAQOTH:VWAGY) outsold the General in the Middle Kingdom. GM has done a fine job of keeping pace with the market, but VW and its luxury brands have been on an absolute tear -- and GM may find it hard to respond.

In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear looks at what's working so well for Volkswagen in China right now -- and at why GM really is at risk of falling behind in this critical market.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.