Buick cars are seen at a General Motors dealership in Shanghai
New York - AFP
General Motors said Thursday that global sales fell in the first nine months of the year from a year ago, despite a North America boom.
GM, the largest US automaker, reported global sales declined 1.3 percent from January through September compared with the same period in 2014, and for the third quarter were down 3.1 percent.
North America, including the US, Canada and Mexico, accounted for the most vehicles sold since the beginning of the year, 2.69 million, a jump of 4.9 percent from a year ago. In the third quarter alone, sales leaped 5.2 percent.
Sales in China, which became GM's primary market in 2014, were sluggish: over the first nine months they rose only 1.6 percent, to 2.49 million vehicles. And sales were down 4.2 percent in the third quarter.
In Europe, where sales slid 6.3 percent through September, there was a slight 1.1 percent gain in the third quarter.
Brazil's economic woes weighed on GM's South America sales, which plummeted 24.4 percent in the first nine months and 30.8 percent in the third quarter.
"Our unwavering focus on the customer is paying off in our largest and most important markets as we execute one successful launch after another in the right segments," said Dan Ammann, GM president, in a statement.
"We have reacted quickly to challenging macroeconomic environments in other markets and have shown the discipline to exit situations where we see no long-term path to acceptable returns."
As expected, sales were lifted by sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks, notably the Chevrolet brand.
Sales of the company's luxury Cadillac brand, one of its priorities in China, jumped 12 percent in the Asian giant to a "record" of nearly 57,000 units, GM said.
GM shares inched up 0.1 percent to $33.37 in late-morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.