GM first quarter sales up
General Motors sold 2.25 million cars and trucks around the world in the first quarter of 2008, according to preliminary sales figures released today, with a record 64 percent of all sales occurring outside the United States. GM global first quarter sales were down less than one percent. Robust first quarter sales in GM's Latin America, Africa and Middle East (GMLAAM) and Asia Pacific (GMAP) regions, and improved sales in the GM Europe (GME) region helped offset a 10 percent decline in GM North America (GMNA). Sales outside GMNA were up 8 percent compared with last year.
"GM posted record sales in three of our four regions driven by continued strong demand in emerging markets," John Middlebrook, GM vice president, Global Sales, Service and Marketing Operations, said today. "While the challenges of the U.S. economy continue to put pressure on the automotive industry there, we saw nearly 20 percent growth in the Latin America, Africa and Middle East and 6 percent growth in the Asia Pacific region. We're also very pleased to see 3 percent growth in Europe, where we established a new sales record with 572,000 vehicles sold. We continue to see a higher percentage of our business coming from outside the developed markets - and the non-U.S. share of GM's global sales of 64 percent clearly reflects that trend."
Chevrolet global sales of 1.08 million vehicles were up 3 percent compared with a year ago, setting a first quarter record. The brand grew by 41 percent in GMAP, 30 percent in GME, and 21 percent in GMLAAM.
Globally, Hummer recorded 13,000 global vehicle sales with a 24 percent gain in the GMLAAM region. With the Hummer H2 and the V8-powered H3 Alpha in North America, and production of the right hand-drive H3 in South Africa, Hummer products are well-positioned to respond to demanding customers' needs.
Cadillac posted sales increases outside of North America in the first quarter, including a 62 percent surge in the GMLAAM region and a 15 percent increase in GME.
Opel and Vauxhall sold 431,000 vehicles in the first quarter of the year. The brands achieved segment leadership with Meriva and Zafira in the monocab segment and second position with Astra in the popular compact segment.