In 2008, GM sold 5.37 million vehicles outside the U.S., accounting for 64% of total global sales volume compared with 59% a year ago. This represents a 22.7% decline in sales for GM in the U.S., its single biggest market. Toyota saw a 15.4% decline.
The highlight of GM's U.S. sales performance was the Chevrolet Malibu sedan, which achieved the highest percentage gain in annual sales volume (39%) of any of the top-20 selling vehicles in the country.
Despite achieving record sales in other markets, such as Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions, GM could not escape the toll global economic pressures have had on its overall results. Once again, challenges in the global financial markets, including credit tightening, the drop in commodity prices, and economic uncertainty were cited as reasons for the decline.
Incidentally, GM had still labelled itself as the “annual global industry sales leader for 77 years” on its website at the time of today’s announcement.