Buick’s sales in 2013 top 1984 record image

General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker, said it sold a record 1, 032,056 Buick vehicles globally last year, the highest total since 1984, before the brand entered China, which is now its largest market.

Buick sales in China rose 16 % last year to 809,918 while in the US, where 42 % of buyers were new to GM, deliveries increased 14 % to 205,509, Detroit-based GM said in a statement.

The new Encore small crossover ended 2013 with 97,311 sales globally, while the eight-passenger Enclave saw sales grow 6.5 % in North America. Enclave recorded its best year of U.S. sales in 2013. Exclusive to China, the GL8 posted an annual sales gain of 9.7 %.

In the sedan segment, the China-exclusive compact Excelle again dominated in the compact sedan segment, delivering a 6.9 % sales growth. The Excelle GT and Verano compact sedans combined globally to deliver a 16.3 % gain, while sales of the Excelle XT hatchback, sold only in China, were up 17.5 %.

GM’s previous Buick sales record was 1.003 million in 1984 when 941,611 were sold in the US and none in China, said Nick Richards, a GM spokesman. After peaking in 1984, Buick sales globally fell to 431,548 in 1998 and US sales reached as low as 102,306 in 2009, he said.

GM’s total sales rose in China last 11 % to 3.16 million while US sales gained 7.3 % to 2.6 million. The automaker has said it plans to release its total global sales later this month.