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



OF 2005

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27th January, 2006

General Motors sold 9.17 million cars and trucks around the world in 2005, up 2 percent from the 8.99 million vehicles sold in 2004, according to final sales figures. It marked only the second time the world’s largest automaker has sold more than 9 million units in a calendar year.

“GM had some notable sales successes as we continued to expand in key growth markets around the world in 2005,” Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said. “While we tackle the significant challenges in North America , the growth initiatives we have undertaken around the world in recent years are paying off and bode well for the company’s future. Our initiatives to globalise our manufacturing and product development functions, for example, are transforming GM into a stronger, leaner and faster-moving company.”

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. The Asia Pacific region was up 20 percent, the Latin America, Africa and Middle East region increased 19 percent, and Europe posted a 1.3 percent gain in one of the most competitive markets in the world.

Some highlights:

  • In each of the three regions, GM sales outpaced the overall rate of industry growth.
  • In the Asia Pacific region, sales topped 1 million units and GM became the top foreign automaker in China for the first time.
  • In the LAAM region, GM posted its eighth consecutive year of sales leadership and was No. 1 in Latin America for the fifth consecutive year.
  • In Europe , Cadillac, Corvette, Hummer, Saab and Chevrolet set sales records for their brands.

The expansion of GM’s four global brands – Chevrolet, Hummer, Saab and Cadillac – is showing concrete signs of success.

Global sales of GM’s value brand, Chevrolet, increased 4.4 percent to 4.37 million units, compared with year-ago sales of 4.18 million. That growth was fueled in part by exceptionally strong consumer acceptance of Chevrolet cars in Central and Western Europe (up 26 percent), and in China, where sales exceeded 100,000 units. Chevrolet also performed well in Latin America and the United States, both traditionally strong markets. Additionally, Chevrolet was the top-selling automotive brand in the United States.

Further growth globally is expected in 2006 with the introduction of all-new, more fuel-efficient versions of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs and all-new Chevrolet Silverado and Avalanche pickups in North America , and the launch of the Chevrolet Captiva this year in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Hummer sales nearly doubled globally in 2005 (61,000 vs. 31,000), paced by the launch of the midsize H3. While much of this growth was in the United States (up 93 percent), Hummer also saw significant expansion in Mexico, Canada and Saudi Arabia. Hummer’s distinctive SUVs are now sold in 33 markets around the world. Hummer will arrive in Australia in about 1 year.

Further growth is expected 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.

Saab had its highest sales volume ever in Europe and recorded increases in the United States and Canada. While Saab’s global sales were flat last year, the brand is in the midst of its most aggressive product expansion in its 58-year history. New products recently added to the lineup include the 9-7X premium midsize SUV in North America and the 9-3 SportCombi 5-door wagon in North America and Europe. An updated 9-5 sedan and wagon also will be launched this year.

Cadillac posted a 42 percent increase in sales outside of North America last year, thanks to strong sales in China , the Middle East and Europe. Three new Cadillacs were launched in Europe last year – STS, SRX and Escalade. The all-new Cadillac BLS luxury sedan, developed specifically for international markets, will be launched there in March.

Several of GM’s regional brands also experienced notable growth in 2005.

In Europe , Opel and Vauxhall grew share in their respective home markets: Opel’s market share in Germany climbed to more than 10 percent from 9.9 percent, moving the brand back up to second place. Vauxhall increased to a 13.1 percent share of the United Kingdom market, up from 12.6 percent in 2004.

Saturn sales in the United States and Canada grew by nearly 2 percent, largely on the popularity of the redesigned 2006 Saturn Vue. Saturn expects significantly stronger sales in 2006 as it launches three key new vehicles that embody the brand’s new, European-influenced design direction: the Aura midsize sedan, the Sky roadster and the Oulook crossover. In addition, Saturn will launch the affordable Vue Green Line hybrid SUV.

GM Holden sales were slightly lower last year, althpugh the Commodore remained the country’s best-selling car for the 10th consecutive year.

In the record sales year of 1978, GM sold 9.55 million cars and trucks globally. GM’s global sales have steadily increased in each of the past three years: 2002 – 8.48 million units; 2003 – 8.62 million units; 2004 – 8.99 million units; 2005 – 9.17 million units.

2006 Holden Commodore SS utility
2006 Holden Commodore SS utility

Other GM news: here.

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