General Motors expects 2013 sales of Chevrolet vehicles to reach 5 million for the first time in GM’s 100-year history, spurred in part by growth in the Middle East, Alan Batey, the global head of Chevrolet, said.
“When I look out and think about where we need to take the brand, the Middle East is a significant part of that opportunity,” Batey said in Dubai at an event for the media.
Chevrolet sales worldwide in 2012 were just under this year’s projected total, at 4.95 million. About 65 percent of Chevrolet’s sales have come from outside North America as it focuses on emerging markets, Batey said.
Top markets for growth are the United States, China, Russia, Mexico and Brazil. Political unrest hasn’t hurt GM’s sales in the Middle East, where it expects continued growth, said John Stadwick, president and managing director of the company’s operations in the region.
“Is there concern today with what’s happening in Syria? I’d say probably more so in the Levant countries than maybe GCC countries. We’ve not seen a downturn,” Stadwick told reporters in Dubai, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council. “We haven’t seen what’s happening in Egypt, Syria or Lebanon affect the overall market. The Egyptian operation is exceeding their sales forecast.”
Syria may face military action by the United States and France while street fights continue to rage in Egypt after the military ousted a Muslim Brotherhood government in a violent coup in July.
The Middle East ranks among GM’s top 10 markets, generating $5 billion of business last year, according to Stadwick.
GM has an estimated 10-percent share of the Middle East market, though there are no official market figures.