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GM’s Global Q2 Sales Drop 15%. Overall, GM is Down 22% for First Half of 2009

North America off 32%; lack of leasing, truck cuts hurt sales.

by on Jul.22, 2009

GM sales have been taking hits, but there is at least one positive note: the new Camaro is sold out.

GM sales have been taking hits, but there is at least one positive note: the new Camaro is sold out.

General Motors sold 1.94 million vehicles during the second quarter of 2009, off 15% compared with the year earlier period, as the Global Great recession continues to take its toll on the struggling company.

During the first half of 2009, on a year-over-year basis, GM total global sales were down 22% to 3.6 million vehicles, a reduction of almost one million units. Globally, automakers sold about 30.6 million vehicles in the first half of 2009, down about 17% from a year earlier, GM said.

GM’s second quarter global market share of 12% was roughly even compared with the year ago period, and up slightly from the first quarter, based on preliminary data.

GM posted market share gains of sorts in three of four of its global regions, and the company continued its transformation to a much smaller factor in the U.S. market, as Q2 sales outside the U.S. equaled 72% of GM’s total when compared with 65% a year ago.

In the North American market, sales were down 32% to 307,000 vehicles. This trend, which will likely continue, underscores both the ongoing weakness of the U.S. economy and GM’s continued slide in what was once its largest market, one it dominated for decades.

However, looked at another way, sales in the U.S. were up 31% when compared with the first quarter of the year, increasing GM’s market share from 18.4% then to 20.5% in the second quarter. Additionally, GM share in North America increased nearly two percentage points, to 19.9% when comparing Q1 with Q2, 2009. GM needs between an 18-19% share to just reach break even at current annual sales volumes of under 10 million units.

“We believe the strength of our products, including the Chevrolet Camaro, Spark and Malibu; award-winning Opel/Vauxhall Insignia; Wuling Sunshine Minivan and others around the world enabled us to weather an historically difficult rebirth of the new General Motors,” said Jonathan Browning, vice president, global sales, service and marketing.

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