U.S. car sales reach 5-year high in 2012
7 automakers saw record numbers.
Total sales of light-duty vehicles reached 14.4 million units, a 13.4 percent jump over 2011, according to WardsAuto. It was the industry's best year since 2007, when 16.1 million cars were sold, and far better than the 10.4 million sold during the depths of the recession in 2009.
Ford, including Lincoln, was the best-selling brand in 2012, with more than 2.1 million cars sold. Toyota, including Lexus and Scion, was the only other automaker to eclipse the 2-million mark, at 2.08 million. General Motors ranked third at 1.92 million, and Chrylser Group, including Fiat, was fourth at 1.65 million. Honda/Acura and Nissan/Infiniti tallied 1.42 million and 1.14 million cars, respectively.
Automakers broke records left and right. Audi reported 24 months of consecutive sales increases with 139,000 cars, its best-ever year and a 68 percent jump over 2009. Hyundai posted a record 703,000 cars along with a record 5 percent market share; Kia marked 18 years of annual increases in sales. Mercedes-Benz (274,000) and Porsche (35,000) both reported record U.S. sales, as did MINI (66,000) and Subaru (336,000), which saw a 26 percent jump from 2011.
Mitsubishi and Suzuki were the only automakers to post year-over-year declines, at 27 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Suzuki is exiting the U.S. market.
The Big Three claimed a 44.6 percent market share, although GM's 18 percent was its lowest on record, according to WardsAuto. Despite a partial stock sale in December, the U.S. Treasury still owns 19 percent of GM and stands to lose billions when it sells the remainder in the next 15 months. Asian brands represented 45.8 percent of the U.S. market.
Toyota continued its streak as the No. 1 foreign brand in the U.S., despite another year full of quality and legal problems. In 2012, Toyota issued the largest industry recall in 16 years, was fined a fourth time by the U.S. for issuing another recall too late and was just whacked with a $1.1 billion settlement to cover its disastrous recalls from 2009 and 2010.
With foreign automakers expected to boost North American car production in 2013 and beyond, the U.S. market could reach -- and possibly, surpass -- 2005's record sales of nearly 17 million.
More: See our detailed roundup of winners and losers from 2012
[Source: WardsAuto, the manufacturers; Image: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni via MSN]
Everything is going up except for salaries, been to the grocery store lately?? The state of the Union is horrible yet the media keeps blowing government forced sunshine up our butts to try and make us believe that "all is well" under this financial disaster of a president. I hope that in four more years, I can say that I was wrong and everyone that voted for him was right!! I really do.
Retail sales for the holidays were down, the stock market is shaky at best, taxes are going up (even though both candidates said they were not going to be), people are working for less money than they were four years ago, so who is buying all of these cars?? It just doesn't seem realistic that the numbers could be "record breaking".
Can't wait to hear Obummer's State of the Union speech and listen to more of his lies. What is really scary is that apparently more than half of Americans will be watching him with a boner, and drool running down their chins, eating up his lies and patting themselves on the back for voting him in.
They didn`t mention that Mercedes can`t make cars fast enough.Lexis and Porshe also
are flying off the lots.We`re becoming a 2 class society.
Instead of giving all those bonuses to their employees, I worked there for 15yrs and they are not over
worked give that money back to the tax payers. I know for a fact that those people that feel liked they sacrificed an arm aren't going to leave. Take care of the retired workers that actually built that company. When they show a vehicle coming off the line you see twenty workers milling around. You see the foreign plants have one or two people. I found out what life was like after GM, very hard work.
Recovery? Just read an article about how NYC lost thousands of cars during Sandy and that it would stimulate the auto industry...interesting.
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