General Motors Co. posted a 4.6-percent surge in global sales in the first nine months of 2013, thanks to the strong demand in the United States and China in the third quarter of the year, offsetting declines in Europe and South America. GM sold over 7.25 million vehicles globally in the third quarter of 2013, including a 5.5 -percent hike in the third quarter.
This effectively places GM ahead of German carmaker Volkswagen AG in the race for global sales crown. Volkswagen sold around 7.03 million vehicles in the first nine months of 2013, reflecting a rise of 4.8 percent. The figure, however, does not include VW’s Scania or MAN brands, which typically account for a combined 200,000 vehicle sales.
Toyota Motor Corp., which was the largest global carmaker in terms of sales in 2012, has yet to release its nine-month numbers, but was leading throughout the first half. Toyota's sales include those at Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd.
Toyota was the largest carmaker in the world from 2008 through 2010, but dropped to third place in 2011 following a recall crisis in the US and an inventory problem caused by natural disasters in Japan and in Thailand. GM's international operations -- including China – posted a 7.5-percent rise in sales in the first nine months of 2013 to almost 2.85 million vehicles.
GM currently holds the largest chunk of the market in China. GM logged a 7.3-percent increase in the first nine months of 2013 in North America to almost 2.45 million vehicles. The carmaker, however, logged declines in Europe (2.4 percent to more than 1.18 million vehicles) and in South America (2.1 percent to almost 770,000 vehicles). [source: GM]