January 14, 2013 / 1:35 PM / in 6 years

GM 2012 global sales rise 2.9 pct on strong Chevy demand

DETROIT, Jan 14 (Reuters) - General Motors Co’s global sales rose 2.9 percent last year on record demand for its mainstream Chevrolet brand, especially in the United States and China.

The U.S. automaker, which is showing off a new version of its Chevy Corvette sports car at the Detroit auto show, said on Monday that global sales totaled more than 9.28 million vehicles, up from just over 9 million in 2011.

International operations, dominated by China, had the biggest increase, 10.1 percent to more than 3.61 million vehicles. GM is the market leader in China.

GM and its Chinese joint ventures sold almost 2.84 million cars and trucks last year, up 11.3 percent from 2011. Domestic sales by Shanghai GM rose 10.9 percent to a record 1,331,022 vehicles.

The SAIC-GM-Wuling mini-vehicle joint venture sold 1,445,203 units, an increase of 12.4 percent. Domestic sales at the FAW-GM truck joint venture slipped 0.9 percent to 55,609 vehicles.

Sales for the North American region, GM’s second largest, rose 3.2 percent to almost 3.02 million vehicles last year. The Chevy brand made up 71 percent of U.S. sales last year.

In Europe, where the money-losing Opel unit is struggling to restructure operations, sales slid 8.2 percent to almost 1.61 million vehicles, while South America’s sales slipped 1.9 percent to almost 1.05 million vehicles.

Global sales for the Chevy brand rose about 4 percent to an record high of 4.95 million cars and trucks last year. The markets with the strongest growth included Mexico, up 10 percent to 179,000 vehicles, and the United States, which was up 8 percent to 1.85 million vehicles, and China, which was up 5.4 percent to 627,000 vehicles.

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