GM's business in Iraq is booming

Long before the first U.S. soldier laid a boot on Iraq soil in the first Gulf War, General Motors planned to build a manufacturing facility in the country. According to The Detroit News, the years since haven't been entirely kind to the automaker's sales efforts in Iraq. That's no shock given America's reputation in the Middle East nation, but its prospects are beginning to look up. Whereas GM once trailed even Renault in sales, the company managed to move 35,000 vehicles last year. Not bad considering the entire new vehicle market in Iraq totaled just 115,000 in 2011.

GM's sales largely consisted of SUVs and pickup trucks (like the locally available version of the Colorado seen above), though The Detroit News notes that some Chevrolet and Cadillac sedans have sold as well, too. That's particularly impressive given that Iraqi drivers aren't required to have insurance and kidnappers in the country have been known to favor those who drive high-dollar luxury vehicles.

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