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.
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.