2011 Car Sales – A Recap!
adopted from an article featured on Edmunds.com
and written by Michelle Krebs
The U.S. auto industry was a winner with 2011 car sales hitting their highest level since 2008. While still off the blistering pace of a few years ago when sales were above 15 million vehicles a year, 2011 sales of 12,776,877 vehicles were up 10.8 percent from 2010, the third consecutive year of gains.
The year opened with cautious optimism, but the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, combined with a sputtering U.S. economy, threatened those hopes. Nevertheless, the year closed on a high note with December sales of 1,242,946 vehicles, an increase of 8.5 percent from the year before. That put the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of sales at 13.5 million vehicles for an eight-month high. Detroit automakers were winners grabbing a 46.9-percent market share, up from 45.1 percent in 2010. Each of the three posted 2010-to-2011 sales increases above the industry average. Chrysler reported the heftiest gain of any major automaker with sales up 26 percent over 2010. General Motors’ sales rose 13 percent; Ford’s climbed 11 percent.
Other automakers posting significant gains were: Volkswagen, up 26 percent for its best year in the United States since 1972; Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia had record years with sales up 30 percent and 36 percent, respectively; Nissan, which recovered from the earthquake faster than did Toyota and Honda, set a new U.S. record with sales up 15 percent. Toyota and Honda saw sales slip by 7 percent from 2010. Despite also being hurt by the earthquake, Subaru still set a record – its fourth consecutive one.
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