General Motors’ European sales fell 20% year on year in the second quarter to 471,823 vehicles, in an overall market down 18%.

Opel/Vauxhall sales reached 347,330 vehicles from April to June for a share of 6.8%. Opel sales in Germany were up 45%, making Q2 the best quarter since 2000 for Opel, boosted by the country’s scrappage programme. The Corsa was its segment leader in Germany.

Chevrolet sold 115,526 cars in Europe in the second quarter for record market share of 2.3%. The Korea sourced brand was up 43% in Germany, 102% in France and 120% in Turkey.

In the first half of 2009, GM sold 878,641 vehicles in Europe for a market share of 9.1%. In Germany, Opel sales were up 27% and Chevrolet sales rose 41% as group sales reached 210,828, the highest in Germany since 2001. The Insignia achieved sales of 86,350 units in the first half to become the second best-selling car in the mid-size car segment in Europe. The Meriva also led its segment.

In June, GM Europe sold a total of 166,824 vehicles and Opel in Germany achieved its highest June sales since 1999, with sales up 52% for market share of 9.2%. Chevrolet recorded the highest monthly sales volume in its history in Germany, with sales up 61% in June.

GM Europe sales and marketing chief Brent Dewar said: “These registrations seem to indicate that we might have seen the bottom in certain markets. Stimulus programmes, like the scrappage scheme in Germany, are good examples, where strong public policy is helping to offset the impact of the global economic crisis.

“While it will probably take some years for the industry to return to 2007 levels, as we are facing an unprecedented set of economic challenges due to the global economic crisis, we are working intensively with our retail network to fight for every sale and to successfully manage the business during this challenging period.”