FRANKFURT -- General Motors sold more than 1,063,000 vehicles in Europe in the first half of 2005, an increase of more than 23,000 or 2.3 percent versus the year-earlier period, the world's biggest carmaker said on Tuesday.
"GM's share of the largely stagnant European market rose from 9.5 to 9.7 percent," it added in a statement.
Sales of GM's Chevrolet brand rose 25 percent in Europe in the first half of 2005 to 117,000 units.
That boosted the entry-level brand's market share in Europe to 1.07 percent from 0.87 percent a year earlier, GM said in a statement.
"We are confident that we will sell well over 200,000 units in 2005," said the executive director of Chevrolet Europe, Erhard Spranger. That would be up from 190,000 last year and more than 133,000 in 2003.
GM sells cars in Europe mainly via the Opel/Vauxhall, Saab, Chevrolet and Cadillac brands.
GM Europe Chairman Fritz Henderson told Reuters in an interview last month that the company was winning market share in Europe without sacrificing profit margins.
"We are not buying the share. If anything, we are actually cutting back on some of the business that maybe we wished we hadn't done last year," he said.
He cited the Opel Astra family of products, the Meriva minivan and the Zafira compact van as strong performers.
Faring well in the fiercely competitive European market is crucial for GM, which last month announced plans to cut at least 25,000 manufacturing jobs and close plants in North America to help counter dwindling sales there.
GM Europe also is in the process of cutting its workforce by around one-fifth in a drive to restore profits. It last made a profit in Europe in 1999, even though it has slashed headcount, closed two plants and consolidated other sites.