General Motors is reporting global sales of 2.1 million units for the third quarter, which is down 11% from the same period last year. Through September of this year, GM has sold 6.7 million cars and trucks worldwide, putting the automaker further behind Toyota, which has sold 7.05 million units so far this year. The struggling U.S. market is a big part of GM's sales woes, as 61% of the Detroit automaker's sales came from outside of its home market. That's up from 56% last year, but down from the 65% figure for the second quarter of 2008. VP of sales and marketing Jonathan Browning points out challenges in the global financial markets as a big problem for GM, but also mentioned that strong sales in emerging markets is helping to ease the sales burden.

Since GM has a serious cash crunch and merger talks on its hands right now, it likely doesn't care much about a global sales race with Toyota. That doesn't make Toyota's accomplishment any less significant, though, considering how long the General has been on top of the global sales charts.

[Source: The Detroit News]