According to Alan Batey, the global head of Chevrolet, 2013 sales of the brand’s vehicles are expected to reach 5 million for the first time in GM’s 100-year history, spurred in part by growth in the Middle East.
Chevrolet sales worldwide in 2012 were just under this year’s outlook, at 4.95 million, GM said. About 65% of Chevrolet’s sales have come from outside North America as it focuses on emerging markets, Batey said. Top markets for growth are the U.S., China, Russia, Mexico and Brazil, he said.
“When I look out and think about where we need to take the brand, the Middle East is a significant part of that opportunity,” he said in Dubai today at an event.
The auto industry is expected to continue growing in the Middle East at an annual rate of 4 percent to 5 percent, a slower pace than the 7 percent to 9 percent growth in the three years since uprisings in the Arab world began, but GM aims to outpace that forecast.
According to John Stadwick, president and managing director of the company’s operations in the region, the U.S. automaker reported a 3.9% increase in its second-quarter sales in July. There is also a correlation between oil prices and car sales in the region, as regional turmoil pushes up oil prices, governments get higher oil revenue and have more money to spend on roads and infrastructure, with the trickle-down effect of people making more money to spend on cars.