GM Sells More Than 9 Million Vehicles Globally; Sales Records Set in Three Regions

GM Sells More Than 9 Million Vehicles Globally; Sales Records Set in Three Regions  
Filed under:
News, General Motors
on 01/17/2007

Source: GM

General Motors sold 9.09 million cars and trucks around the world in 2006, according to preliminary sales figures released today. It marked the third time (2006, 2005 and 1978) the world’s largest automaker has sold more than 9 million vehicles in a calendar year. 2006 global sales were down less than 1 percent from the 9.17 million vehicles sold in 2005, reflecting a number of factors, including planned cuts of 75,000 vehicles in daily rental fleet sales in the United States and offsetting growth in other global markets.

“GM had some notable sales successes as we continued to expand in key growth markets around the world in 2006,” John Middlebrook, GM vice president, Global Sales, Service and Marketing Operations said today. “In 2006, we saw 18 percent growth in the Asia/Pacific region, and 17 percent growth in the Latin America, Africa and Middle East region. We’re also seeing improving results in Europe where we sold more than 2 million vehicles for the first time.”

The expansion of GM’s four global brands – Chevrolet, HUMMER, Saab and Cadillac – is showing concrete signs of success.

Global sales of GM’s value brand, Chevrolet, were 4.3 million vehicles compared with 2005 sales of 4.37 million. Chevrolet showed growth in all three regions outside North America, with the strongest performance in the Latin America, Africa and the Middle East region, with an additional 19 percent (144,000 vehicles) delivered over the 2005 level. Chevrolet also performed well in the Asia/Pacific region, which also was up 19 percent. There was a 15 percent increase in Chevrolet sales in Europe, compared with 2005. The Chevrolet Aveo helped Chevrolet field a strong competitor in the very competitive global small car market.

GM also retains its strong truck portfolio, evidenced by HUMMER sales that grew nearly 34 percent globally in 2006, with 82,000 vehicles delivered, compared with 61,000 in 2005. This performance was paced by the continued strength of the midsize H3. While much of this growth was in the United States (up 26 percent), HUMMER also saw significant expansion in Mexico and Canada.

Saab’s 2006 global sales set a record at more than 133,000 vehicles. Saab had its highest sales volume ever in Europe, exceeding 90,000 vehicles and record sales in Spain, Belgium and Canada.

Cadillac posted a sales increase outside of North America last year, thanks to 22 percent sales growth in Europe.

Global sales highlights include:

At 4.97 million vehicles, 2006 sales outside of the United States accounted for about 55 percent of GM’s total global sales, growing at close to 7 percent compared with 2005, outpacing the industry average growth rate of 6 percent. The industry has seen a 10 million vehicle increase in the global automotive market in the past five years, and the market now tops 67 million.

In the Asia/Pacific region, GM sales of 1.26 million vehicles topped 1 million vehicles for the second consecutive year, and GM China saw more than 32 percent sales growth compared with 2005, outpacing the country’s industry growth rate of 26 percent. GM was the top-selling automaker in China in 2006, with 877,000 vehicles sold. For the first time, GM sold more Buicks in China (304,000) than in the United States (241,000).

In the Latin America, Africa and Middle East region, GM sales reached an all-time record 1.03 million vehicles, exceeding 1 million vehicles for the first time, up 17 percent in volume compared with 2005. Truck sales were up 21 percent and car sales were up 16 percent. GM saw volume increases in 10 of 11 major Latin America, Africa and Middle East markets in 2006. GM do Brazil set an all-time domestic sales record with 410,000 vehicles delivered.

In Europe, GM sales – for the first time – exceeded 2 million vehicles, up about 1 percent. Growth in Eastern Europe, up 59 percent, led the increase. Cadillac, Corvette, HUMMER, Saab and Chevrolet set European sales records for their brands. Chevrolet achieved record sales of more than 340,000 vehicles, up 15 percent. Saab sold more than 90,000 vehicles, beating its previous European sales record of 82,000 sold in 2005.

Several of GM’s regional brands also experienced notable growth in 2006.

Opel and Vauxhall sold 1.6 million vehicles, growing share in 14 European markets. The brands achieved segment leadership with Meriva and Zafira – in the monocab segment – and second position with Astra in the popular compact segment.

Saturn sales in the United States and Canada were up 5 percent compared with 2005, largely on the popularity of the new 2007 Aura, Sky and Vue Green Line Hybrid. Saturn expects stronger sales this year as it continues the launch of the Outlook crossover and welcomes the Ion small-car replacement, Astra.

GM Holden sold 147,000 vehicles in 2006 and the brand strengthened its second-place position in Australia as the Commodore remained that country’s best-selling car for the 11th consecutive year.

As GM executes the North America turnaround plan, much media attention has focused on the global sales horse races between GM and its competitors. “ Being the largest car company in the world can’t be a focus, it has to be a by-product of giving people in each market the vehicles they really want. GM enjoys that position today,” Middlebrook said. “ GM employees remain focused on delivering cars and trucks that lead in design, quality and technology. We believe our newest products reflect that commitment. But no one should question our continued resolve to compete head-to-head with every automaker.”

Note: Global sales results are based on preliminary numbers reported.

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