BMW GROUP +14%With a strong December (+35%) the BMW Group finished a solid year. The BMW division was not able to repeat its win in the luxury derby, coming in second to Mercedes-Benz. BMW might point out, however, that Mercedes’ total includes some 20,000 Sprinter vans--factor those out and BMW did emerge on top.
6-series +110% (with the addition of the Gran Coupe)
The other Minis +11%
Supply problems slowed Subaru in 2011, but the brand returned to its winning ways in 2012. A string of successful new models has buoyed Subaru in recent years; in 2012 it was the new Impreza. For 2013, Subaru looks poised for more growth, with the recently added XV Crosstrek and a new Forester in the wings.
Mercedes-Benz can gloat that it was the number-one luxury brand in the United States in 2012, which puts a fine point on a successful year. The new SL made a splash, and the GLK seems to have gotten a lot of mileage out of its update. The aging big cars, however, are slowing down.
SL +238% (in the high-fashion roadster market, a new redesign usually does well)
MAZDA +11%Mazda had a year with a lot of ups and downs, but finished up, thanks mostly to the arrival of the well-received CX-5.
Mazda6 -6% (but a new version is set to debut this month)
VOLVO +1%Volvo managed to scratch out a tiny sales increase, despite dropping the S40 and the V50; it also passed the faltering Mitsubishi. The S60 and the XC60 are doing well, but that’s not enough to hang a franchise on.
MITSUBISHI -27%Mitsubishi took a big ride down while nearly everyone else was up. Part of that was due to the departure of the Eclipse and the Endeavor. But even among the continuing models, only the Outlander Sport saw growth.
Outlander Sport +10%
JAGUAR LAND ROVER +11%The British duo finished out 2012 much as they did 2011: up 11% for the year. Once again, Land Rover can take credit for the increase, as Jaguar sales were down slightly. Additional powertrain variants--including, importantly, all-wheel drive--may help Jaguar’s sedans gain some ground in 2013; and the XF roadster also arrives this year. Land Rover got a boost from the Evoque in 2012; in 2013, the new Range Rover kicks in.
Land Rover +15%
Evoque (now the number-two-selling Land Rover, it sold over 1000 units in December)
Range Rover Sport +8%
Range Rover -20%
At the end of last year, we bid good-bye to Saab; this year it’s Suzuki. Suzuki sold 1945 cars in December (-24% vs. a year ago), and finished 2012 with 25,357 total sales.
TOP 10 BESTSELLING NAMEPLATES OF 2012
1. 645,316 Ford F-Series
2. 418,312 Chevrolet Silverado
3. 404,866 Toyota Camry
4. 331,872 Honda Accord
5. 317,909 Honda Civic
6. 302,934 Nissan Altima
7. 293,363 Dodge Ram
8. 290,947 Toyota Corolla/Matrix
9. 281,652 Honda CR-V
10. 261,008 Ford Escape