GM global sales up 4 percent, may gain on Toyota

DETROIT - General Motors says global sales grew almost 4 percent in the first half of the year, enough to fend off Volkswagen for second place and perhaps close the gap with sales leader Toyota.

GM sold 4.85 million cars and trucks worldwide from January through June. That's on pace for sales of 9.7 million for the year.

The Detroit automaker sold 9.3 million cars and trucks last year, about 400,000 less than Toyota Motor Corp. GM may have gained some ground on its Japanese rival this year by growing faster in the U.S., the world's second-biggest car market.

GM's first-half U.S. sales rose by 8.7 percent, while Toyota's sales grew by 6.7 percent, according to Autodata Corp. Toyota is expected to release global sales figures later this month.

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