Auto Sales Numbers Mixed for 2012
January 8, 2013

by Casey Neeley,

As automotive stock reports come in, car sales overall for the U.S. appear varied. While many major brands report an uptick in numbers, some manufacturers report significant declines in sales. Auto glass repair and replacement shops can use these numbers to track types of vehicles they may see more of in the coming year.

According to a recent report issued by YCharts, "U.S. car and light truck sales rose more than 13 percent last year, continuing a post-recession rebound that has seen sales rise more than 30 percent over the past two years."

YCharts quickly notes, however, that Ford Motor Co. (Ford) and General Motors (GM), both publicly traded, have not seen much of an increase as a result of this boom.

In its 2012 sales report, Ford posts positive annual numbers.

"Ford Motor Company's U.S. sales grew across the board in 2012, with cars up 5 percent, utilities up 7 percent and trucks up 2 percent for the year. Overall, the Ford brand ended 2012 with 2,168,015 vehicles sold—the only brand to top 2 million U.S. sales," reads a release issued by the company.

"Ford finished 2012 strong, with retail sales showing improved strength as more customers returned to dealer showrooms," says Ken Czubay, Ford's vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. "Ford's fuel-efficient cars and hybrid vehicles showed the most dramatic growth for the year, and we achieved our best year for commercial vehicle sales since 2008."

A release issued by GM notes that sales did increase in December by 5 percent, which the company claims is the highest December sales record it has seen in five years.

"All four GM brands increased their sales year over year in December and we were strong across the board in cars, crossovers and pickup trucks," says Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations.

Volvo Car Corp. did not see such positive numbers for 2012; the company reports it saw a total global sales decline of 6.1 percent for the year. In a release issued by the company it says American sales were profitable, however.

"The United States was Volvo Cars' largest market in December with retail sales of 6,150 cars, up 15.1 percent versus the same month in 2011," reads the release.

With likely the largest reported growth in the U.S., Volkswagen of America Inc. announces an increase of 35.1 percent in annual sales for 2012.

"2012 marked another successful year of growth for Volkswagen of America," says Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. "The Volkswagen brand delivered another important step in our long-term growth plan. 2012 marked the third consecutive year of significant double-digit growth rates and we more than doubled our volume of 2009. With the addition of the all-new Jetta Turbo Hybrid, Beetle Convertible and our strong dealer network, we expect to continue to outpace the industry in 2013."

Additionally, Honda and Acura reported big numbers for annual sales.

"Buoyed by strong December 2012 U.S. sales of 132,774 units, an increase of 26.2 percent compared with December 2011, American Honda posted annual vehicle sales of 1,422,785 units in 2012, up 24.0 percent compared with 2011. This makes 2012 American Honda's fourth-best sales year ever, and its best sales result since 2008," reads a statement issued by Honda Motor Company Inc. "Acura U.S. December sales of 16,034 units represents an increase of 22.1 percent over December 2011. The Acura Division's year-end sales totaled 156,216, up 26.7 percent compared with 2011 results—and the brand's best sales results since 2007. The MDX led the division with annual sales of 50,854, followed by the TL with sales of 33,572 and the RDX with sales of 29,520."

Sales numbers show repair and replacement shops may begin to see more electric cars in the coming year as well. According to a report issued by Mintel, "green" car sales also saw an uptick in 2012 that is projected to carry past 2013.

"Over the past nine years the share of hybrid and electric cars has grown from virtually zero (0.5 percent) in 2004 to 3.3 percent in 2012 of all vehicles sold. Looking forward, Mintel forecasts sales of hybrid and electric cars to exceed 535,000 units by the end of 2013, or a 14 percent increase in sales over 2012 estimates. Furthermore, by 2017 Mintel forecasts that sales of hybrid and electric vehicles will reach 850,000 units as newer models gain traction with consumers. The market is expected to account for 5 percent of the total US car market by that date (2017)."

The National Automobile Dealers Association reports that "The U.S. Auto industry sold 1.3 million units in the month of December. This was an increase of 9 percent over December 2011."

NADA further predicts annual 2013 sales of 15.6 million units.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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