GM Rides New Markets to Record Third-Quarter Sales

Toyota’s quarterly results due out Monday

By Brendan Moore


General Motors had a record-setting third quarter from a global sales perspective, reporting unit sales of 2.38 million passenger vehicles on Thursday. Almost every bit of the increase (and therefore the record) came from sales in developing markets. Third-quarter sales in GM’s Latin America, Africa and Middle East regions were up nearly 22% to 329,400 vehicles. GM reported a 16% increase in its Asia-Pacific region to 327,500 units. Sales in Europe, including Russia, were up 15% at 523,600 vehicles.

Sales in North America declined 6% in the third quarter.

GM, locked in a battle with its arch-rival Toyota for the No. 1 spot in sales among auto makers, has been posting incredible growth in the rest of the world as it continues to get battered in its home market of North America. Toyota is scheduled to release their third-quarter results on Monday, and most analysts expect a very close race.

Toyota’s combined sales in its biggest markets — the U.S., Japan and Europe — fell 3.8 percent in the quarter.

Calculated on an annual basis, GM has held the No. 1 spot among auto makers for 76 consecutive years.

Toyota reported 4.72 million units sold worldwide in the first half of 2007, with GM nipping at their heels with 4.67 million vehicles sold in the same period.

GM’s new results push their sales for the first nine months of the year to 7.06 million units, which is a gain of more than 2% from the same period in 2006.

Besides the previously noted emerging markets, GM is extremely well-positioned in the red-hot Chinese market. Car production in China is growing so rapidly that it is set to overtake the US within a decade as the world’s largest market, and multinationals are flooding in to invest, but GM was there early, and has a commanding lead in China.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at

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  1. Toyota is bad car for americans and others poeples. I think American should not buy cars from the Japenese company because we need all our money here. the world war was fought to beat the japenese and we did that and we should have left the counrty in pieces but instead we helped them build cars and now look at what the japenese do to us.

  2. Some deep thinking there

  3. I am constantly amazed by how the auto industry “keeps score.” In units of sales! Thus a Maybach counts the same as a Mazda or a Maruti. No mention of revenue or heaven forbid profit. I am not arguing for or against either Toyota or GM, but wonder why this unit counting persists. Does anyone see a headline along the lines of “Wal-Mart sells 35,000,000th item this week”? Or “Whirlpool sales up this quarter, to 15.6 million clothes washers”? I guess the unit race is interesting but frankly I’d rather sell a high-profit Cadillac V-series something or a Lexus LS430 than 5 or 10 Corolllas or Aveos…

  4. Although not put very eloquently, I think everyone got the gist of what patriot45 was trying to say about the Japanese method of repayment to the citizens of the U.S. for being so generous in their victory over Japan.

  5. Maybe it would be good to remember who owns a huge chunk of U.S. debt.

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