GM sets company sales record but falls behind Volkswagen

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DETROIT — General Motors Co. set a company record last year for global sales, but it was outsold by German automaker Volkswagen AG.

Now both companies are waiting to see if Toyota Motor Corp. will retain its global sales crown. Toyota, which is expected to report sales next week, was the world’s top-selling automaker in 2012 and 2013.

GM sold just over 9.92 million cars and trucks in 2014, up 2 percent from the previous year. Sales rose 14 percent in China and 6 percent in North America, but fell 10 percent in Europe — where GM has begun pulling out the Chevrolet brand — and 15 percent in South America, where sales were hurt by currency fluctuations and other issues.

GM fell behind Volkswagen AG, which sold 10.14 million vehicles last year.

GM predicts pretax earnings, profit margin rise in 2015

Volkswagen also beat GM in sales in 2013. But that year, GM would have won if Volkswagen removed sales of its industrial truck brands, like Scania and MAN. GM doesn’t make heavy industrial trucks.

In 2014, Volkswagen outsold GM by 15,000 vehicles even without its heavy truck sales, which totaled 199,900.

Volkswagen’s sales rose 5 percent in Europe last year and 11 percent in China. They were flat in North America and fell 20 percent in South America.

BY DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writer

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