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General Motors Company (GM - Analyst Report) witnessed global sales of 2.4 million vehicles in the third quarter of 2013. This represents a 5.5% increase over 2.27 million units sold in the third quarter of 2012.

The International Operations (Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East) witnessed an 8.4% increase in sales in the quarter, marking the largest hike. Sales in North America grew 6.5% to 0.8 million, while sales in Europe increased 4.2% year over year to 0.39 million. However, sales in South America declined 4.2% to 0.27 million.

Sales of General Motors formed 11.7% of the total global industry sale in the quarter, compared with 11.6% in the year-ago quarter.

This takes the total global sales of General Motors in the first nine months of 2013 to 7.25 million units, up 4.6% over the prior-year period.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) reported global sales of about 7.03 million units in the first nine months of 2013, increasing 5% from the year-ago period. Volkswagen is expected to be placed after Toyota Motor Corporation (TM - Analyst Report) and General Motors on the basis of global sales.

Although Toyota is yet to reveal its global sales figures for the first nine months of 2013, it is being projected as a strong contender owing to strong sales in the first half of 2013. The automaker recorded global sales of 4.91 million in the first half.

Toyota surpassed General Motors to become the largest-selling automaker in 2012. The company had taken over General Motors’ 70-year long leading position in 2008. Toyota has retained the crown ever since, except for 2011, when it lost significant market share due to product recalls in the U.S. and problems with parts suppliers due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

General Motors currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another automaker worth considering, with the same Zacks Rank, is Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report).

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