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Chevy Boosts GM Europe's First-Half Sales Growth

General Motors sales outgrew the broader European car market in the first half as a surge in demand for its Korean-built Chevrolet brand cars offset a hefty decline in Saab sales, the automaker said on Monday.

GM Europe increased vehicle sales by 5.3% to a record 1,127,871 units, the European division of the U.S. carmaking group said in a statement, adding that market share rose by three-tenths of a percentage point to 9.6% as the total comparable market grew by only 2.1%.

"Our different strategies for Western and Eastern Europe are allowing us to maintain sales growth while also continuing to improve our revenue performance and the overall quality of our sales," said Jonathan Browning, GM Europe's vice president for sales and marketing.

Last month, it boosted unit sales by 10.3% to 214,918 vehicles as car buyers in central and eastern Europe flocked to the low-price Chevy brand.

According to GM Europe, June marked the 50th consecutive record month for Chevrolet, with its range of affordable cars like the Nubira, Matiz and Kalos previously sold under GM's Korean Daewoo brand.

Chevy sales jumped 34% in the first half to 215,315 units, easily outweighing a 10.7% drop in sales for its struggling Swedish brand Saab to just 45,275 cars.

The larger mid-market Opel/Vauxhall brands grew sales by a marginal 0.8% to 863,303 vehicles helped by a 50% rise in sales of its revamped Corsa subcompact, which accounts for over a quarter of sales for the two sister nameplates.

GM Europe also distributes Cadillacs, Hummers and Corvettes to customers but their combined first-half sales constituted just a fraction of a percent for the division.