GM reports 9.369 billion sales to Toyota's 9.366 billion
January 23, 2008 - 9:05 am ET
UPDATED: 01/23/08 16:54 CET
DETROIT (Reuters) -- General Motors today reported total global sales of 9.369 million vehicles in 2007, finishing just ahead of Japanese rival Toyota.
GM said its global sales rose 3 percent from a year earlier to sales of 9,369,524 vehicles, driven by strong growth in regions outside North America.
Toyota, which was expected to have surpassed GM as the world's largest automaker, said on January 10 that it sold 9.37 vehicles in 2007, but did not detail the figure further. A Toyota source told Reuters today the automaker came in at about 9.366 million in sales, just short of GM.
GM said the 2007 results were the second best global sales total in the company's 100-year history. It was the third consecutive year with more than 9 million vehicles sold.
"We set a record in China with more than a million vehicles sold. We nearly doubled our sales in Russia to an all-time record of more than 258,000 vehicles delivered. And we set a record in Brazil with nearly a half-million vehicles sold," John Middlebrook, GM vice president of global sales, service and marketing, said in a prepared statement today.
"This is the kind of emerging market growth that fuels our global performance. Customers are responding to our fuel-efficient and dynamically-designed product lineup around the world."
The virtual tie comes at a time when Toyota has been growing in the United States -- the world's single largest market for vehicle sales -- while GM's domestic sales have been slipping. But the U.S. automaker has been increasing market share outside the United States, where sales accounted for 59 percent of the total tally.
Since 1998, GM's global sales have grown at an average annual rate of about 1.5 percent, while Toyota's growth rate has been five times that.
GM's sales in North America -- its largest market -- fell 6.1 pct in 2007. Sales in the Asia Pacific region rose 15.1 percent led by China, while sales in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East rose 19.4 percent, driven by Brazil. Sales in Europe rose 8.9 percent.
Sales outside the United States came in at 5.5 million units.