General Motors Hits New Global Sales Record on Growth Outside U.S.

Strong demand in emerging markets

"GM's record third quarter sales were driven by exceptionally strong demand in emerging markets and our improving competitiveness in developed markets," said John Middlebrook, GM vice president of global sales, service and marketing operations. "We're on track to have our second-best annual sales performance in our almost 100-year history."

GM has now record 21 straight quarters of year-over-year sales increases outside the United States.

At 1.34 million vehicles, sales outside of the U.S. accounted for about 56% of GM's total global sales. GM said this region grew by 14%, outpacing the industry average growth rate of 10%.

North American sales slipped six percent to 1.2 million vehicles as a result of "planned reductions in daily rental sales and softness in the U.S. market due to increasing fuel prices and concerns about housing," GM said.

Sales in the Asia-Pacific region rose 16% to a record 327,500 vehicles in the third quarter and more than 14% to 1.05 million vehicles for the first nine months of the year. GM said it was "on pace to become the first group to sell one million vehicles a year in China" as quarterly sales there rose 21% to 230,000 vehicles.

The Latin America, Africa and Middle East region saw sales increase almost 22% to 329,400 vehicles in the third quarter and up nearly 20% to 893,800 vehicles for the first nine months of the year.

European sales also hit new records with quarterly deliveries of 523,600 vehicles, up 1%, and year-to-date sales up more than 8% to 1.65 million vehicles.

Growth in Russia led the increase with a record 65,700 vehicles sold, up 75% and GM said it was on pace to sell more than 200,000 vehicles in Russia this year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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