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GM's Third-Quarter Global Sales Fall 3.1% — Update

General Motors Co. said global sales fell 3.1% in the third quarter amid continued weakness in South America and a reduced presence in Russia and other markets.

The U.S.'s largest auto maker sold 2.33 million vehicles in the third quarter, down from 2.41 million during the same time frame a year ago. Surging sales in North America of pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles amid cheap gasoline and low interest rates helped stem the decline.

Sales in North America rose 5.2% in the quarter, GM said. The Detroit auto maker also managed to post a modest sales gain in Europe, where it has been mired in red ink for years.

Sales in South America, where economic and currency-exchange problems have hurt GM, plunged 31%. Declining oil prices and soaring inflation in Venezuela, for instance, have hit the auto maker's operations and financial results.

Chevrolet, GM's biggest brand associated with the popular Silverado pickup truck, logged a 9.5% sales decline in the quarter despite record crossover sales in the...