General Motors said its global sales fell 3.1 percent in the third quarter, even as North American sales of trucks and crossovers accelerated.
GM sold 2.3 million vehicles worldwide in the quarter, compared with 2.4 million in the same period last year, as sales fell in markets outside North America and Europe, the automaker said today. South American sales plummeted by 31 percent to 150,142 vehicles from 217,098 a year earlier.
Chinese sales fell 4.2 percent as sales in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East fell 10 percent.
European sales rose 1.1 percent while North American sales rose 5.2 percent to 930,758 vehicles, thanks in part to the strength of crossover and truck sales. U.S. crossover and truck sales at Chevrolet were up 24 percent and 16 percent, respectively.
GM and other automakers are taking advantage of a strong new-car market in the U.S., even as it struggles to gain ground in other markets. Overall, U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 6.2 percent in the third quarter to 4.5 million units, according to the Automotive News Data Center, as consumers take advantage of low interest rates and gas prices.
Despite strong crossover and truck sales, Chevrolet sales dropped nearly 10 percent worldwide in the third quarter to about 1.1 million vehicles, offsetting gains from most of GM’s other brands.
GMC sales rose 6.7 percent in the third quarter as Buick gained 3.8 percent and Cadillac jumped 1.5 percent. Sales of GM’s European Opel/Vauxhall brand rose 5.4 percent, while sales of the Chinese Baojun shot up 167 percent to 110,977 vehicles. GM’s other Chinese brand, Wuling, saw sales fall 16 percent.
GM global sales are down 1.3 percent to 7.2 million vehicles this year through September compared with last year. Chevrolet sales are down 7.1 percent to 3.3 million vehicles this year, while GMC sales are up 11 percent. Year-over-year sales increases also were reported at Buick (2.6 percent), Cadillac (3.2 percent), Opel/Vauxhall (3.8 percent) and Baojun (236 percent). Sales declined by 8.7 percent at Wuling.
GM sales are up 4.9 percent in North American markets and 1.6 percent in China through September. Sales dropped by 24 percent from last year in South America, by 6.6 percent in Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific and 6.3 percent in Europe.