Automotive News reports that General Motors' global sales so far this year have inched the automaker past its cross-pond rival Toyota. The Japanese juggernaut managed to move 7.05 million vehicles during the the first three quarters, while GM sold 7.06 million.
Of course, this news does not come without its fair share of controversy. GM's global numbers include vehicles sold in China with its joint-venture partner, which some analysts exclude. Toyota's numbers, as well, include sales of Daihatsu vehicles and commercial trucks built by its Hino division. Exclude these ancillary figures from divisions of which each company only owns a part, and in some cases a minority, and the results might be different. Nevertheless, the world's two biggest automakers are neck and neck in global sales so far this year.

The story for GM was very different back home. In North America, GM only managed to move 1.2 million vehicles in the third quarter, a decline of 6% compared with last year. Officials blamed reductions in rental fleet sales, rising fuel prices and concerns about housing for the slump, but not having a decent small car to sell likely didn't help either.

[Source: GM, Automotive News - sub. req'd]

PRESS RELEASE:

GM Announces Record Global Third Quarter Sales, Up 4 Percent
  • Chevrolet Aveo, Corsa and Celta Drive Record Sales Surge of 22 Percent In Latin America, Africa and the Middle East
  • Record Sales in China, India Fuel 16 Percent Asia-Pacific Increase
  • Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet Performance Drives Europe to Set Q3 Sales Record with 15 Percent Growth
  • 21 Consecutive Quarters of Year-Over-Year Growth Outside the U.S.
DETROIT - General Motors sold a record 2.38 million cars and trucks around the world in the third quarter of 2007, a 4 percent increase compared with last year, according to preliminary sales figures released today. GM also reported record sales outside the United States, marking the 21st consecutive quarter of year-over-year sales increases outside the U.S.

"GM's record third quarter sales were driven by exceptionally strong demand in emerging markets and our improving competitiveness in developed markets. GM global sales of 7.06 million vehicles for the first nine months of the year reflects solid results and more than 2 percent growth. We're on track to have our second-best annual sales performance in our almost 100-year history," John Middlebrook, GM vice president, Global Sales, Service and Marketing Operations, said today. "In the third quarter we experienced record sales around the globe including a 22 percent increase in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East - an all-time quarterly record for that region - and 16 percent growth in the Asia-Pacific region. We're also pleased to post a sales gain of 15 percent in Europe where we sold more than 523,600 vehicles and set a Q3 record."

Global sales highlights include:

Record third quarter 2007 global sales of 2.38 million vehicles, up 4 percent.

Record third quarter sales outside the United States, marking the 21st consecutive quarter of year-over-year sales increases. At 1.34 million vehicles, Q3 2007 sales outside of the United States accounted for about 56 percent of GM's total global sales, growing at close to 14 percent compared with Q3 2006, outpacing the industry average growth rate of 10 percent.

Record third quarter sales in the Latin America, Africa and Middle East region, up almost 22 percent to 329,400 vehicles. Record sales in Brazil were up 29 percent for the quarter. Cadillac sales were up 45 percent; Chevrolet sales were up 27 percent; Saab sales were up 17 percent and HUMMER saw a triple-digit increase in the region. For the first nine months of the year, GM LAAM region sales are up almost 20 percent, to 893,800 vehicles.

Record third quarter sales in the Asia-Pacific region of 327,500 vehicles were 16 percent higher than the previous year's third quarter. Sales by GM China (including sales by SAIC-GM-Wuling) of 230,000 vehicles posted a more than 21 percent sales increase compared with 2006. GM is on pace to become the first group to sell 1 million vehicles a year in China. Cadillac sales were up 122 percent; Chevrolet sales were up 46 percent; and Saab sales were up 12 percent in the region. For the first nine months of the year, GM Asia-Pacific region sales are up more than 14 percent to 1.05 million vehicles.

GM posted record third quarter sales in Europe with deliveries of 523,600 vehicles, up 15 percent. GM had the highest quarterly volume increase of the top-ten manufacturers in Europe. Growth in Russia led the increase with a record 65,700 vehicles sold, up 75 percent. GM's growth in Russia is also supported by the start of Opel Antara production in St. Petersburg. GM is on track to sell more than 200,000 vehicles in Russia this year. Chevrolet achieved record European sales of 113,000 vehicles, up 28 percent. Opel/Vauxhall grew volume more than 12 percent in Europe. Cadillac sales were up 61 percent and HUMMER sales were up 28 percent in the region. For the first nine months of the year, GM Europe regional sales are up more than 8 percent to 1.65 million vehicles.
In North America, planned reductions in daily rental sales and softness in the U.S. market due to increasing fuel prices and concerns about housing, resulted in sales of 1.20 million vehicles, a decline of 6 percent compared with last year. Despite a competitive U.S. market for full-size pickups, GM continued to show pickup truck segment leadership in the quarter thanks to the North America Truck of the Year Chevrolet Silverado and all-new GMC Sierra. GM's mid-car and mid-utility crossover segments also saw retail sales gains on the strength of mid-cars Saturn Aura, Pontiac G6 and Chevrolet Impala, and mid-utility crossovers GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave. The newly-launched 2008 Chevrolet Malibu is building momentum as dealer demand is taxing available supply.

Chevrolet global sales of 1.18 million vehicles in the third quarter of 2007 were up more than 5 percent compared with a year ago. The brand grew by 46 percent in Asia-Pacific, 28 percent in Europe and 27 percent in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

GMC sales in North America were up 8 percent in Q3, largely due to the popularity of the Acadia mid-utility crossover and all-new Sierra full-size pickup truck. Saturn sales for the first nine months of the year were up more than 13 percent due to the sales performance of three new vehicles, the Sky roadster, Aura mid-car and Outlook mid-utility crossover vehicle.

Note: Global sales results are based on preliminary numbers reported and have been rounded.

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