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Detroit 2006: Is the Market Schizophrenic, or Changing?

GM Sells More Than 9M Vehicles Worldwide for the First Time in 27 Years

GM worldwide sales. Click to enlarge.

General Motors sold 9.17 million cars and trucks around the world in 2005, up 2% from the 8.99 million vehicles sold in 2004, according to the final sales figures for the year.

In North America, vehicle sales dropped 4% to 4.5 million units in 2005. Non-North American sales now account for more than 50% of the company’s sales volume.

The results mark only the second time the company—still the world’s largest, despite its crisis in North America and a surging Toyota—has sold more than 9 million units in a calendar year.

Sales of GM vehicles exceeded 9 million units for the first time since 1978 on strong results in GM’s three regions outside North America:

  • Asia Pacific region up 20%. Sales topped 1 million units and GM became the top foreign automaker in China for the first time.

  • Latin America, Africa and Middle East region up 19%. GM posted its eighth consecutive year of sales leadership and was No. 1 in Latin America for the fifth consecutive year.

  • Europe up 1.1%. Cadillac, Corvette, HUMMER, Saab and Chevrolet set sales records for their brands.

Global sales of GM’s value brand, Chevrolet, increased 4.4% to 4.37 million units, compared with year-ago sales of 4.18 million. Sales of Chevrolet cars in Europe were up 26%. Chevrolet sales in China exceeded 100,000 units.

HUMMER sales nearly doubled globally in 2005 (61,000 vs. 31,000), paced by the launch of the “midsize” H3. (The H3 offers combined fuel economy of about 17 mpg US.)

While much of this growth was in the United States (up 93%), HUMMER also saw significant expansion in Mexico, Canada and Saudi Arabia. HUMMER SUVs are now sold in 33 national markets around the world.

GM expects further HUMMER growth outside North America this year with the availability of H3s in a left-hand-drive version from GM’s South Africa assembly plant. Right-hand and diesel models will be available in 2007 and 2008.

Cadillac posted a 42% increase in sales outside of North America last year, thanks to strong sales in China, the Middle East and Europe.

GM reportedly is considering exporting vehicles from its Chinese division to developing markets in a further sign of China’s potential to supply vehicles with low manufacturing costs. Markets under consideration include India, Indonesia, the Middle East and South America.


Ron Fischer

Prediction: diesel Hummer drivers in the US will fill up with biodiesel and apply bumper stickers to "show off". This high profile image-building will kickstart sales of biodiesel SUVs.


Prediction: GM will be history in 18 months. Thats when they run out of cash at current burn rate.


Too bad they had to give thier crap inventory away at huge "employee" discounts to make this 27 year record.


I think the increased sales of hummers is sort of a temporary artifact. They recently introduced the H3 which is somewhat more fuel efficient than the H2, and it is considerably less expensive. For all of those wankers who really wanted one, they could finally afford it (or more easily afford it, I should say).

I would tend to agree - I think they will be history at some point. 18 months - I don't know. While the news from Asia-Pacific and Latin-America is good I guess, they have this sucking chest wound here in the U.S. that they need to take care of.

I also noticed that they didn't mention what vehicles were selling in well in Latin America and Asia-Pacific - it isn't Hummer or Cadillac or they would have said so.


No way the US Govt will allow GM to fold. Too many reasons, the least not being that of national security.


Seriously, 17MPG combined?



Hampden Wireless

We may not love GM but this stuff about bankrupcy is way overblown. GM still has a POSITIVE cash flow even now due to its financing arm GMAC. Each quater it has more cash in the bank then before even though its loosing $ on each car. GM is no angel but its new SUV's do great for thier size. I dont want one, but near 30mpg for a huge 2006 Tahoe is not bad. Then the Green line Saturn is going to have the best epa rating of any SUV even though its a half baked not really a hybrid design.

GM is going to be improving its fleet mpg faster then Ford and Chrysler in the year 2006 in my opinion.


Cadillac, Corvette, HUMMER, Saab and Chevrolet are not exactly the big GM brands in Europe.
According to they sold 1000 corvettes & 2000 Cadillac's in Europe (less in total than Ferrari)
Saab sold 127,541 (2004) worldwide and Daewoo was around 130,000 in 2003. Vauxhall/Opel sells a lot more than that

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