News Column

GM, VW, Toyota Compete for Global Sales

Jan. 14, 2013
2013 Chevy Malibu

General Motors' global sales were up 3 per cent in 2012, the company announced Monday in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, keeping the revived US carmaker in second place worldwide, ahead of the fast-gaining Volkswagen group.

GM's sales reached 9.3 million vehicles last year.

VW, which announced its global number late Sunday in Detroit, saw sales leap 11.2 per cent in 2012 to 9.07 million cars. The German company sold 8.16 million vehicles in 2011.

The Detroit car show, which kicks off the industry's annual exhibit calendar, opened its press preview Monday.

The sales record for VW puts the group into a close third for global sales behind Japan's Toyota Motor Corp and GM.

Toyota's sales worldwide are estimated at 9.7 million cars, though the company has yet to issue 2012 figures.

VW said it believes it will take the global sales lead by 2018. The company is scheduled to open its 100th factory on Tuesday in Silao, Mexico.

Martin Winterkorn, VW managing chairman, said Volkswagen Group performed "extremely well in difficult conditions" in 2012.

VW officials refused to offer projections for 2012 sales but warned of difficult conditions particularly in the company's Western European home market, where the eurozone is back in recession.

"Tough challenges lie ahead," Winterkorn said.

VW's newest subsidiary, Porsche AG, reported global vehicle sales up 18.7 per cent last year over its record-setting 2011 deliveries. The German sports car company's 2012 sales exceeded 141,000 cars, up from nearly 119,000 a year earlier.

Matthias Mueller, Porsche president and chief executive, called it "the most successful year in our history."

Porsche became a Volkswagen Group brand in August.

Last week, VW's largest subsidiary brand, Audi, announced 2012 sales up 11.7 per cent to 1.46 million cars.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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