GM Auto Sales Worldwide On the Rise

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Bloomberg News - April 16, 2013

GM auto sales have increased globally by 3.6 percent during the first quarter, giving the company enough leverage to maintain its lead over rival Volkswagen.

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Armed with its best vehicles in a generation, GM said worldwide sales rose 3.6 percent during the first quarter compared with last year, keeping its lead over Volkswagen AG by about 90,000 vehicles.

Increased Chevrolet sales in the U.S. and Buick demand in China helped GM deliver 2.36 million cars and trucks in the first three months of 2013, the Detroit-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. VW global sales during the period rose 5.1 percent to 2.27 million, according to an April 12 statement. Toyota Motor Corp. hasn’t reported first-quarter sales yet.

“This is Chevrolet’s 10th consecutive record-breaking quarter of global sales,” Mark Reuss, president of GM’s North American operations, said today in Detroit in advance of the SAE World Congress, an auto-engineering conference, at an industry breakfast held by Dawda Mann, a Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based law firm. “Chevrolet is, in fact, being reborn.”

GM faces increased pressure to maintain its standing as the world’s second-best selling automaker ahead of VW. Toyota retook the lead position from GM last year as the Toyota City, Japan- based company recovered from natural disasters in Asia in 2011.

Volkswagen, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, reported a 5.9 percent sales decline in Europe that was offset by gains in the U.S. and China. The company, with brands including Audi and Porsche, said its U.S. sales rose 15 percent to 142,800 and China deliveries increased 21 percent to 633,900.

“We don’t sit around plotting first place in sales as an objective,” Reuss told reporters after his presentation. “Although, we will go head-to-head market-to-market with the product piece of it.”

GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson is pushing to refocus the automaker’s efforts around two global brands, Chevrolet and Cadillac, as the company competes with VW and Toyota for worldwide scale.

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