GM’s Q1 Sales Up 3.6%, Keeping Lead Over VW image

For the first quarter GM reported global sales up 3.6%, with 90,000 vehicles more than VW.

Increased demand for Buick in China and for Chevrolet models in the US, helped GM sell 2.36 million vehicles in the first quarter. VW’s sales during the same period increased 5.1% to 2.27 million units, while Toyota, which surpasses both GM and VW last year, is expected to report its global sales figures.

“Our goal is not to be just No. 1 on a sales basis,” Dan Ammann, GM chief financial officer, said yesterday during an interview for a taping of “Autoline This Week.” “Our goal is to be profitable in every segment in which we operate around the world.”

GM has a hard time in keeping its position as the second best-selling automaker in the world, after Toyota took back its crown last year. VW reported a drop of 5.9% in Europe, an increase of 15% to 142,800 units in the US and 21% in China to 633,900 units.

“This is Chevrolet’s 10th consecutive record-breaking quarter of global sales,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM’s North American operations. “Chevrolet is, in fact, being reborn.”

As GM competed with VW and Toyota, CEO Dan Akerson is trying to refocus the automaker’s efforts on Cadillac and Chevrolet, its two global brands. GM plans to introduce 20 new vehicles this year in the US, with the first one being the Impala full-sized sedan.