December 2010 and a Year-end Wrap-up for Automotive Sales in the US

Well, the end of the year came and went, without much fanfare.  While everyone in Times Square watched the ball drop, the automotive companies selling their hardware in the US were counting the last of the sales figures.  How did everyone fare?  Click past the jump to find out!

The extra marketing push that accompanies the end of each calendar year surely paid off this year, with sales in December up an astounding 31% over November.  Granted, there’s a lot of good deals to be had, but I didn’t expect that big of a jump!

The big winners in December were GM, Ford and Toyota, while Honda, Chrysler and Nissan also had good a good month.  The surprise was Hyundai, whose sales were only up a little from November, even though they had a lot of advertising on TV and radio, and have had such a breakout year.

It was also a blue-collar Christmas, because while the more mainstream Fords and Chevys sold well, the only luxury marque to really drive numbers up month-to-month was Lexus.

Speaking of Ford and Chevy, the perennial rivals ended up at the top, with GM outselling Ford by less than 200,000 vehicles.  Toyota came in 3rd, by the same margin, and Honda and Chrysler round out the top 5.  The big news is Hyundai, which was bested by Nissan by a scant 14,000 vehicles sold in 2010.

It was a wild ride in 2010, so let’s hope for some good growth and stability in 2011.  11.5-million vehicles were sold in 2010, so I’d expect 12.5-13 million to be sold in 2011.  Look for Ford to continue its sales successes, while GM will be working hard to hold its own.  Toyota might have regained some of the faith of its customers in late 2010, so they’ll be in the hunt as well.  Hyundai’s Equus is showing up sometime this year, and while it won’t be a big numbers car like the Sonata, it’ll give Hyundai an easy way to “trickle down” new technologies and features into its more mainstream cars.

Drive safely during the new year!

by John Suit

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