GM’s first-half global sales rise 4% on U.S., China demand

GM’s first-half global sales rise 4% on U.S., China demand

Automotive News | July 16, 2013 – 9:12 am EST
— UPDATED: 7/16/13 4:03 pm ET – adds brand results
DETROIT (Reuters) — General Motors Co’s global sales rose almost 4 percent in the first six months of the year as strong demand in the United States and China outweighed sliding sales in Europe, the company said today.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker sold more than 4.85 million cars and light trucks in the first half as demand rose at least 7 percent in each of its two largest regions — International Operations, which includes China, and North America.

The results kept GM ahead of Germany’s Volkswagen AG in the race for bragging rights as the world’s largest automaker. VW reported last week that its six-month sales rose 5.5 percent to 4.7 million vehicles.

Toyota Motor Corp., which sold the most cars globally last year, has not yet released its first-half global sales figures.

Last year, Toyota took back the title of world’s largest automaker from GM as the Japanese automaker’s 9.75 million sales topped GM (9.28 million) and VW (9.07 million). Toyota held the global sales crown from 2008 through 2010 but fell to third place in 2011 due to negative publicity after a U.S. recall crisis and a disrupted supply chain following an earthquake in Japan and floods in Thailand.

GM First-Half Global Sales Comparison
GM North America = United States, Canada, Mexico.
GM in Europe = Western, Central and Eastern Europe plus Russia/ CIS.
GM International Operations = Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.
* Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan are excluded.

Photo credit: Shiraz Ahmed

GM’s smaller U.S. rival, Ford Motor Co., is due to release its six-month global sales figures later this month.

Brand, region breakdown

Among GM brands that increased volume, Chevrolet rose 1.4 percent to 2,479,124. Chevy sales were up in its three largest markets: the United States (up 5.6 percent to more to more than 1 million vehicles), China (up 6.1 percent to 322,000) and Brazil (up 5.1 percent to 305,000).

China sales of Wuling mini-commercial vehicles increased 8.8 percent to 747,424, spokesman Jim Cain said in an e-mail.

Buick climbed 16 percent to 510,537 in drawing about four-fifths of its volume from China. GMC’s sales in its primary markets — the United States and Canada — rose 9.7 percent to 258,403.

Cadillac’s global sales jumped 31 percent to 111,991.

GM’s International Operations, including China, had a first-half sales rise of 7 percent to almost 1.92 million vehicles. In China, where GM is the market-share leader, sales jumped almost 11 percent to a record 1.57 million vehicles.

Sales in North America increased 7.7 percent to more than 1.64 million vehicles. U.S. sales rose 8 percent to 1.42 million.

Sales fell 6.5 percent in Europe to more than 797,000 vehicles, and were down 1 percent in South America to almost 497,000.

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