Despite Solid Sales Year, GM Is No. 2 Globally

Auto News: Toyota Pulls Past U.S. Carmaker for Top Spot

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DETROIT ( -- General Motors Corp. had a solid year in 2007, with global sales up 1.9% from 2006. But it is now the world's second-largest automaker, according to Automotive News.

GM slipped well behind Toyota Motor Corp. in global sales. GM sold 8,885,599 total vehicles in 2007, while Toyota says it sold an estimated 9,370,000. Toyota will issue an official total in about a month.

China's Wuling brand
It was widely reported this week that the two automakers finished in a dead heat for the No. 1 spot. Here is why: GM includes in its total 516,435 vehicles of the Wuling brand in China.

But GM owns only 34% of the Chinese company that produces Wuling vehicles, SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., a major automaker in China, owns 50.1% of SAIC-GM-Wuling.

Automotive News said it follows industry practice by including sales of only majority-owned subsidiaries in an automaker's global total. For instance, sales of Mazda Motor Corp. are not included in Ford Motor Co.'s total because Ford owns 33.4% of Mazda.

So the publication subtracts Wuling-brand sales from GM's reported total, arriving at 8,885,599.
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