General Motors, surviving a collapse in its home market with the help of U.S. loans, said sales in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East reached record highs for the fifth straight year in 2008.
GM sold 1.3 million vehicles in the region, up 3.2 percent from 2007. In a statement, the automaker said it hit all-time highs and gained market share in nine countries as well as the North Africa and the Middle East sub-regions.
The so-called LAAM region -- GMs smallest -- joins Asia Pacific as bright spots as sales tumbled industrywide last year amid a global credit crisis. Asia Pacific sales rose 2.7 percent.
GM has posted a 22.7 percent drop in the United States and saw sales slide 6.5 percent in Europe. In China, GMs sales rose 6.1 percent, down from an 18.5 percent increase the previous year.
GM has staggered the release of its regional results and will announce global totals on Wednesday, Jan. 21.
The Chevrolet brand represents 90 percent of GM sales in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. North Africa saw the greatest growth, up 57 percent.
GM, which last posted a profit in 2004, is using a $4 billion loan from the U.S. Treasury to stay solvent. It is part of a $13.4 billion package pledged by President Bush.