DETROIT, July 16 General Motors Co's
global sales rose almost 4 percent in the first six months of
the year as strong demand in the United States and China
outweighed sliding sales in Europe, the company said on Tuesday.
The No. 1 U.S. automaker sold more than 4.85 million cars
and light trucks in the first half as demand rose at least 7
percent in each of its two largest regions - International
Operations, which includes China, and North America.
The results kept GM ahead of Germany's Volkswagen AG
in the race for bragging rights as the world's
largest automaker. VW reported last week that its six-month
sales rose 5.5 percent to 4.7 million vehicles.
Toyota Motor Corp, which sold the most cars
globally last year, has not yet released its first-half global
Last year, Toyota took back the title of world's largest
automaker from GM as the Japanese automaker's 9.75 million sales
topped GM (9.28 million) and VW (9.07 million). Toyota held the
global sales crown from 2008 through 2010 but fell to third
place in 2011 due to negative publicity after a U.S. recall
crisis and a disrupted supply chain following an earthquake in
Japan and floods in Thailand.
GM's smaller U.S. rival, Ford Motor Co, is due to
release its six-month global sales figures later this month.
GM's International Operations, including the world's largest
auto market, China, had a first-half sales rise of 7 percent to
almost 1.92 million vehicles. In China, where GM is the
market-share leader, sales jumped almost 11 percent to a record
1.57 million vehicles.
Sales in North America increased 7.7 percent to more than
1.64 million vehicles. U.S. sales rose 8 percent to 1.42
Sales fell 6.5 percent in Europe to more than 797,000
vehicles, and were down 1 percent in South America to almost
GM said its mainstream Chevrolet brand had a 1.4 percent
rise in first-half global sales, to 2.5 million cars and trucks.
Chevy sales rose in its three largest markets: the United States
(up 5.6 percent to more to more than 1 million vehicles), China
(up 6.1 percent to 322,000) and Brazil (up 5.1 percent to
For VW, sales of its namesake brand rise 4.4 percent
globally to 2.91 million vehicles in the first half.