General Motors Posts 45% Sales Increase in Qatar

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Detroit automaker General Motors has been expanding its presence in the global auto market. In the Middle East, the automaker is making good progress as the Qatar arm of the automobile manufacturer recently announced that the sales for the first quarter of the year went up to 46 percent. From January to June this year, General Motors has sold 3,877 vehicles in the Middle Eastern country which boosts the overall growth of the car company in the Middle East.

In the region, General Motors has already sold 66,650 vehicles for the first six months of the year. That figure is six percent more than the number of vehicles that the automaker has sold in the region for the same period last year. The sales figure also marks the most number of vehicles sold by General Motors in the region for the first half of any year.

The month of June is the best month for the automobile manufacturer in terms of sales in the Middle East. Last month, General Motors sold 14,781 cars and light trucks in the region. The increase in sales in the region is welcome news for the carmaker as its share in the United States auto market continues to lose ground against Asian rivals.

The increase in sale though at this rate is not expected by General Motors since they had a good year last year. "It was always going to be a challenge to maintain the growth we witnessed in 2006 because we launched 17 models last year so we are delighted by these results," said Terry Johnsson, General Motors' Middle East operations president and managing director.

According to Johnsson, their launching of new products in the region's auto market has been received warmly by consumers. He said that whether it is the GMC Acadia or a -equipped full sized SUV; customers are flocking to their dealerships to buy these products. Aside from the Tahoe and the Acadia, General Motors Middle East also recently launched the Chevrolet Suburban in the region.

Aside from the 46 percent increase in sales in the country of Qatar, General Motors also performed well in other Middle Eastern countries. In the United Arab Emirates, the automaker posted an increase of 12 percent for the first half of the year. General Motors sold 8,754 vehicles in the said country for the first six months of the year. In Oman, the increase in sales is posted at 34 percent. In Saudi Arabia, General Motors posted an increase of 12 percent in first half sales. In Bahrain, sales for the first half increased by 13 percent. The Levant markets composed of Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria also saw an increase in sale at 3 percent.

General Motors' sale in Kuwait though went down by 11 percent. The reason for this is the reduction on fleet sales. Fleets are usually operated on a two-year purchase cycle. That means that it is expected that sales in the country will increase by next year.

The increasing sales for the Detroit automaker are good signs for the company and they have been doing a good job in the region. The carmaker has been in the region for a long time. "General Motors continues to stand behind its vehicles with unique initiatives. We have been operating in the Middle East for over 80 years, selling, servicing and operating our business very close to our customers and dealers," concluded Johnsson.

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