GM’s third quarter sales climb 2% image

Driven by strong customer demand in China and the United States, the world’s two biggest markets, General Motors posted a positive result during the third quarter.

Worldwide sales of the largest US automaker were up 2% to 2,449,595 cars and trucks, rising from 2,396,864 units for the same period last year. This is the company’s best third quarter since 1980. The strong demand at home comes amid the largest recall campaign the auto industry has ever seen, with almost every model form the GM brands hit by a larger or smaller service campaign.

During the first nine months of the year, General Motors has delivered 7,371,743 autos, again rising by 2% from the same period of 2013 when it sold 7,250,764 vehicles. The increase has not been sufficient though to edge Germany’s Volkswagen AG. The biggest European automaker and the second largest in the world last year, behind Toyota, managed to increase its sales by a bigger 5.3% margin to 7.4 million vehicles. The tally has not taken into account the heavy trucks manufacturers – the MAN and Scania brands.

Third quarter sales in the US went up 8% and overall rose 9.5% in the North American region to 884,435 units. China saw a more extensive jump – 14% – to 849,848 autos, remaining GM’s largest single market. The Asian operations (without China) declined 6%, the European division slumped 17% and the South American region dropped 20%.