General Motors boosted nine-month sales in Europe by 25,000 or 1.7% to 1,525,000, though market share remained around 9.5%.

Nonetheless, last month was GM's best September in Europe since 1999 with share of 10.13% versus 9.8% a year ago.

"September was a great month for us and, over the first three quarters, we continue to grow faster than the industry average," claimed GM Europe sales chief Jonathan Browning.

Saab's September 2005 share of the European market was a record 0.51% with sales of 9,700 cars in September up 17%.

But, for the first nine months of 2005, sales of 59,800 were off around 1,000 vehicles year on year.

GM's volume brands Opel and Vauxhall, had their best September since 1999 with sales of 155,000. Market share reached 8.1% across Europe and topped 11.1% in Opel's home market of Germany after 9.1% in September 2004. But, again, nine-month results were lower - at 1,241,800 vehicles, down 10,000 on a year earlier. Their combined share of the total European market slipped slightly, too, from 7.95 to 7.8%.

Opel's sales performance varied widely across the continent. There was significant growth in Germany (5.8%), Ireland (14%) the Nordic markets (Denmark: 28%; Norway: 17%; Sweden: 16%; Finland: 9%) and Portugal (19%).

Chevrolet (most models nee Daewoo), also had its best September as share of the European market reached 1.31% vs 1.05% a year ago. Aggregate sales for the first nine months also set a record of 182,000, an increase of 27% on the 143,183 cars sold in the same period in 2004. Chevrolet's share of the European market went up from 0.91 to 1.14% January to September.

Particularly high growth was seen in Poland (137%) and Central & Eastern Europe (86%). Chevrolet Russia, which started only this year, has already sold 11,500 cars (excluding the locally built Chevrolet [Lada] Niva) and Ukraine has seen dramatic growth with 20,800 vehicles sold so far this year compared with 5,484 during the same period of 2004.

Chevrolet also continued to grow sales in Western Europe with an average increase of 7% over the first nine months of 2004.

Well over a thousand Corvettes (the name Chevrolet is downplayed over here and the model name is regarded as one of GM's luxury brands), more than three times as many as in all of 2004, have already been sold. With close to 2,000 cars registered in the first three quarters, Cadillac has exceeded 2004 total sales and Hummer is on track to exceed last year's 419.