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General Motors' European sales decline 1.6%

The change in global market share is largely attributable to last year’s highly successful employee discount incentive program in North America and lower fleet sales in Europe. General Motors Corp. reported a 1.6% decline in European vehicle sales last month as the world's biggest carmaker focused on selling more profitable models. General Motors sold 156,680 vehicles in July from 159,172 units a year ago, the carmaker's Zurich-based European division said in an e-mailed statement. GM said its share of the market increased to 9.1% from 9.0% as the overall market shrank 2.7%. The carmaker is introducing new versions of its European models, including the Opel Corsa small car, to counter lagging sales and win back customers lost to competitors Volkswagen AG and PSA Peugeot Citroen. Detroit-based General Motors has also scaled back its workforce in the region to restore profit growth. The Chevrolet brand sold 29,236 vehicles in the region, a 9.5% increase. Saab, the unprofitable Swedish luxury carmaker owned by GM, posted a sales increase of 16% to 6,327 cars. The company has introduced the new Saab 9-3 sport-combi model as well as new motors to win customers. (Bloomberg, gmeurope.com)