x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Demand from Middle East helps boost GM car sales

Carmaker General Motors profits from a boost in new vehicle sales within the Middle East and other international markets.

The General Motors Hamtramck Assembly plant in the US. The car maker benefited from an increase in production of high-margin vehicles in North America and also a boost in sales from emerging markets.
The General Motors Hamtramck Assembly plant in the US. The car maker benefited from an increase in production of high-margin vehicles in North America and also a boost in sales from emerging markets.

A growing demand for new vehicles from drivers in the Middle East and other emerging markets drove up second-quarter sales for General Motors (GM).

Profit for the car maker climbed to US$2.52 billion (Dh9.25bn) during the second quarter, which was up 89 per cent from the same period last year, the company reported yesterday.

The car maker benefited from an increase in production of high-margin vehicles in North America but also a boost in sales from emerging markets such as China, India and Russia.

In the Middle East, GM dealers sold more than 67,600 vehicles during the first half of the year. That figure is up 22 per cent from the same period last year, fuelled by regional interest in the latest models from GM, including its Cadillac SRX, CTS Coupe and the Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu, Camaro and Captiva.

"GM's investments in fuel economy, design and quality are paying off around the world as our global market share growth and financial results bear out," said Dan Akerson, the chairman and chief executive of GM.

In the Middle East, the growth of new vehicle sales and shoppers visiting GM showrooms has led the company to increase its investment in customer facilities and service training throughout the region.

Interest in new GM vehicles has been strongest for the company's selection of pickup lorries. Sales in this category have increased 37 per cent in the Middle East during the first half of the year, compared with the same period last year.

Passenger cars sales have grown 26 per cent, while those of crossovers are up 19 per cent in the first half of the year.

For GM overall, the company's latest earnings marks its sixth consecutive quarter of growth.

"We're going to keep working on the fundamentals of strong brands, great products and operating leverage to create profitable growth," said Dan Ammann, the company's chief financial officer.

nparmar@thenational.ae