With the release today of GM’s first quarter sales results, it's evident American carmakers are doing much worse on their home turf than most would assume. GM’s sales worldwide dipped 0.6% over the quarter, but this was largely because most of the gains made in new markets were offset by a sharp drop in GM’s North American sales tally, which dropped 10% over the period.

This same quarter, GM set three new sales records and moved over 2.25 million vehicles – 64% of which were sold outside North America.

To see how badly GM is doing back home you only have to look at some of its foreign markets. Sales in Russia alone grew 78% and even in established markets like Europe GM managed to increase sales by 3%. Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela also saw growth of nearly 20% and in the competitive Asia-Pacific markets GM sales also rose 6%. Overall, sales GM sales outside of North America rose 8%.

GM has blamed the continued softness in the U.S. market, rising fuel prices and concerns about housing and credit availability as the main reason for the slump.

At the same time Toyota managed to overtake GM in the sales race for the first quarter, selling a total of 2.41 million vehicles this year versus the 2.25 million sales tally of GM - a 2.7% increase on its sales levels from just one year ago.