DETROIT: US automaker General Motors has reported bumper third quarter global sales - 4% higher than the same period last year. It sold a record 2.38 million vehicles worldwide, thanks to strength in overseas and emerging markets.

However, domestic sales, affected by turmoil in the housing market and rising gasoline prices, slipped 6% compared with Q3 last year.

In compensation, sales in GM's Latin America, Africa and Middle East regions were up nearly 22% to 329,400 vehicles. The company also reported a 16% increase in the Asia-Pacific region, while sales in Europe climbed 15%.

Executive director of global market and industry analysis, Paul Ballew, expects sales growth to remain "subdued" in North America, but to stay robust in the rest of the world - a trend set to continue into 2008.

GM is trying to wrestle back its world leader position from Toyota Motor, which sold 4.72 million vehicles in the first half of 2007, compared with the US firm's 4.67m. The latter's global sales figures for the first nine months were 7.06m, an increase of more than 2% over the year ago period.

Toyota is to release its third quarter results today (Monday).

Data sourced from USA; additional content by WARC staff