GM's sales totaled nearly 2.79 million in the U.S. last year, jumping 7.3 percent. (David Coates / The Detroit News)
General Motors Co. said Tuesday it sold 9.71 million vehicles across the globe last year, very close to figures Volkswagen AG released for the year, though both companies likely will trail Toyota Motor Corp. for the 2013 sales crown.
The Detroit automaker’s sales are up by more than 400,000 vehicles, or 4.5 percent from 2012. GM’s sales figure comes days after Volkswagen AG said it sold more than 9.7 million vehicles globally last year, up nearly 5 percent from 2012.
Volkswagen spokesman Carsten Krebs said the company won’t release precise figures until the next two weeks when it reports the precise sales of two publicly traded units. The race for second place is going to be “very, very close,” Krebs said, assuming the companies trail Toyota Motor Corp for the top sales crown, as is expected. The German company’s worldwide sales were 5.7 million in 2006.
Toyota has not released global sales figures for 2013.
Last week, GM said it sold a record 3.16 million vehicles in 2013 in China, its biggest sales market.
GM’s sales totaled nearly 2.79 million in the U.S. last year, jumping 7.3 percent, and sales in Brazil hit 649,849, up 1 percent over 2012. Sales in the United Kingdom of 300,977 vehicles jumped 11 percent from 2012, while sales in Russia totaled 257,583, falling 11 percent year-over-year.
“A healthy auto market in the United States and China, and very successful product launches at all of our brands worldwide drove GM’s growth in 2013 and helped us navigate difficult conditions in Europe and parts of South America and Asia,” GM Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann said in a statement.
Sales in Europe fell by 3 percent last year, while sales in South America also slid by 1 percent compared to 2012. Sales rose in North America and GM’s International Operations unit.
Buick sales rose 15 percent last year and totaled more than 1.03 million, setting a record for the brand in its 110-year history. The brand’s previous high sales mark of just over 1 million vehicles was set in 1984 and occurred before GM started selling Buicks in China.
Chevy brand sales jumped to a record 4.98 million last year, while Cadillac’s global sales rose to 250,830 vehicles, up 28 percent from 2012, including a nearly 22 percent increase in the U.S. Sales in China for the luxury brand topped a record 50,000 vehicles for the year and were up 67 percent. Cadillac through 2016 plans to add one new model a year in China.
GM’s Opel/Vauxhall brands sold more than 1.06 million vehicles last year, down slightly from last year’s total. GM said Opel/Vauxhall market share grew slightly in 2013 over 2012 in Europe. GM said the launches of the Opel Mokka and Adam helped.
Ammann told reporters Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that the European sales market has bottomed. He said the company still plans to break even in the region by mid-decade.
David Shepardson contributed.