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Domestic Automakers Rebound in 2011; Will 2012 Bring Japanese Revival

Toyota, Honda end year down but promise comeback.

by on Jan.04, 2012

After setting its third consecutive annual sales record, Subaru will aim for a fourth with new models like the BRZ sports car.

Carmakers celebrated another 10% gain in car sales for 2011 as they finished the year with sales at the best level in years.  There were a few notable exceptions, however, as two of Japan’s three largest makers wrapped up 2011 with further sales declines – while promising to turn things around in 2012.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales was 13.6 million units as several manufacturers, including Chrysler, Kia, Hyundai, Subaru and Volkswagen, wrapped up 2011 with impressive gains during December. Kia, for example, posted a 42.6% increase in the final month of the year, while Chrysler sales were up 37.6% increase for December.

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Notably, December saw transaction prices rise to record levels while incentives dipped for the month, following a months-long trend despite the push by some Japanese makers to try to rebuild their market share by putting plenty of cash on the hood.

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2011 Car Sales End With a Surge

Industry enters 2012 with new-found momentum.

by on Jan.04, 2012

With new model on tap, Ford gained ground in 2011 with outgoing Fusion model.

Countering earlier concerns about a double-dip recession, U.S. auto sales wrapped up a skittish 2011 on a positive note, surging in the final weeks of the year, with Detroit’s automakers helping drive the overall market to its highest level since the start of the long economic downturn.

Overall sales of new cars, trucks and crossovers increased by 10.2% during 2011, largely paced by a surge in demand for domestic brands. General Motors, Chrysler Group LLC and Ford Motor Co. all finished 2011 with double-digit increases over the previous year. Vollkswagen also reported a 26% gain for 2011 as its new lineup of cars – especially the American-made 2012 VW Passat – has clicked with customers.

(Detroit makers aim to regain long-lost lead in midsize market. Click Here for that report.)

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Chrysler Group reported U.S. sales of 138,019 units, a 37% increase compared with sales in December 2010 and the group’s best monthly volume since May 2008.

Ford Motor Co. also reported a 16% increase, while GM reported a modest 5% increase.

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Late Upturn in 2011 Likely to Set Stage for Stronger 2012

But threats to auto market remain as global economy stutters.

by on Jan.03, 2012

The Hyundai Elantra: one of the hits of 2011.

When automakers close the books on 2011 tomorrow, they’re expected to not only show a moderate gain of about 10% for the year but, more importantly, provide a clear indication that car sales are on an upswing.

Housing sales may still be struggling and the jobs market still in the doldrums but two years after the worst automotive downturn since the Great Depression the cash registers are ringing loud at the nation’s car dealers.  Most forecasters now see demand surging from about 12.7 million vehicles this year to anywhere from 13.8 to more than 14 million for 2012.

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And the trendline is pointing in the right direction in almost every major market worldwide, suggests a new study by the Detroit-based research firm Polk.  Its new global automotive forecast foresees worldwide sales of 77.7 million vehicles in 2012, a 6.7% jump from last year.

“We’ve been recovering a lot faster than many people expected just two years ago,” says automotive analyst Joe Phillippi, of AutoTrends Consulting.

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GM, Ford Report Strong December Sales – and Predict Solid 2012

December bring best numbers of the year.

by on Jan.04, 2011

Strong demand for products like the Chevrolet Equinox helped GM report a double-digit sales gain.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. both reported strong sales numbers for December – leading both domestic makers to forecast the pace of the ongoing recovery will continue picking up in 2011.

Ford reports its sales surged 6.7% for December, while GM nudged into double-digit territory, with a 16% jump for the month when compared with December 2009.  Preliminary indications are that, for the industry as a whole, December 2010 saw a seasonally-adjusted annual sales rate, or SAAR, of 13.3 million vehicles, which would be the highest monthly figure for all of 2010.

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But the pace seems all but certain to continue picking up, officials with both makers said.

GM predicted total industry sales will reach 13.5 million units in 2011 as the economy continues to improve. That forecast represents a robust 14% improvement over the 11.8 million sales posted for all of 2010, as the industry began to improve from the recession.

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