GM Sets Records In Sales Abroad, But Toyota Wins

General MotorsGeneral Motors set records in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions during the third quarter. Yet Toyota has increased its lead in global sales, cementing its new position as a larger carmaker. In reporting results on Wednesday, GM said it sold 6.7 million vehicles in the first nine months this year. Toyota posted worldwide sales of over 7 million units during that period.

General Motors said it sold more than 2.1 million vehicles during the third quarter this year--11.4% less than the period last year because of poor sales in the U.S. and Europe, where GM reports its sales dropped 18.9% and 12.3%, respectively.

Sales of GM vehicles worldwide were down 5.8% versus the first nine months last year, although sales outside the U.S. increased by 164,000 vehicles, per the company.



"The recent challenges in the global financial markets, including credit tightening and the drop in commodity prices, have negatively impacted market demand. However, our sales performance shows that we are continuing to take advantage of new emerging market opportunities and are meeting customer needs with fuel-efficient products that offer compelling design and great value," said Jonathan Browning, vice president, global sales, service and marketing, in a release.

While Chevrolet sales were down 16.6% in North American in the third quarter, the company said the division is strong elsewhere. The division posted a 5.3% gain in Asia-Pacific--with Chevy getting a 4.3% gain in China and 4.9% improvement in India versus the quarter last year. The company says the Chevrolet brand had a 3.4% increase in sales in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, with Chevy accounting for 90% of GM sales in those regions.

Chevrolet had a 2.7% increase in sales in Europe, with a 6.2% increase for the first nine months in Russia versus the period in 2007. General Motors says Cadillac sales grew 10.7% in the third quarter because of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Cadillac sales in Europe and North America were down 9.3% and 28%, respectively, in the third quarter.


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