2012 Auto Sales

2012-ford-f150-ecoboost

CHRYSLER GROUP +21%

You might have expected Chrysler to give back some market share in the face of tougher Japanese competition, but instead Detroit’s scrappiest fighter added to its gains. The only clouds in the sky are the company’s higher than average incentive spending, and the slight slowdown in December (which was up only 10% over a year ago).

Chrysler +39%
Winners
300 +95%
200 +44%
Town & Country +19%
Losers
None

Dodge +16%
Winners
Avenger +51%
Journey +44%
Grand Caravan +28% (retaking the title of America’s number one minivan)
Charger +18%
Loser
Durango -18%

Jeep +13%
Winners
Grand Cherokee +21%
Wrangler +16%
Loser
Compass -16%

Ram +17%
Winner
Ram +20%
Loser
Dakota (it bit the dust in 2012)

Fiat +121%
Winner
500 (it got off to a slow start, but the 500 success is getting hard to deny)


AMERICAN HONDA +24%

Honda, like Toyota, was severely affected by the disaster in Japan, and it saw a similar revival in 2012. Successful launches of the CR-V and the Accord certainly helped. It appears that the rushed re-launch of the Civic is a success as well. After Honda dealers sold the heck out of the 2012 model in November to make room for the quick-fixed 2013, they then sold the heck out of the 2013 model in December: 33,118 of them.

Honda +24%
Winners
Accord +41% (the new Accord looks to be a hit--sales were up 67% in December)
Civic +44%
CR-V +29% (the bestselling SUV in the land)
Ridgeline +44%
Odyssey +18%
Losers
Insight -62% (contrast that to the Prius…)
Fit -17%

Acura +22%
Winners
RDX +94%
MDX +18%
Losers
ZDX -50% (50 sold last month)
TSX -7%


HYUNDAI-KIA +11%

The Koreans stayed hot in 2012 (with another record year for both Hyundai and Kia), though not quite as hot as they had been. An embarrassment caused by overstated fuel economy figures was costly in the financial sense (millions of dollars to compensate owners of the affected cars) but appears not to have hurt sales. For 2013, the company says that it will be able to crank out more of its most popular models (Elantra, Sonata, and Santa Fe), all of which are being built on three shifts at Hyundai’s U.S. plant.

Hyundai +9%
Winners
Equus +24%
Veloster +276% (over a partial 2011)
Sonata +2% (best-ever full-year sales)
Loser
Santa Fe -5% (with a model changeover; the new version was up 43% in December)

Kia +15%
Winners
Optima +80%
Rio +100%
Soul +13%
Losers
Sportage -23%
Sorrento -8%
Forte -1%


NISSAN NORTH AMERICA +10%

Nissan didn’t have the big supply problems in 2011 that some Japanese automakers did, so its percentage gain in 2012 was unspectacular. Infiniti, though, did have those issues, and it did shoot back up in 2012--although much of that was the addition of the JX.

Infiniti +22%
Winner
JX --% (new for 2012, the JX quickly established itself as the brand’s most important model behind the G)
Losers
EX -42%
M -16%

Nissan +8%
Winners
Pathfinder +64%
NV +58%
Altima +13% (over 300,000 units, but fell from 4th place among all nameplates to 6th)
Losers
Cube -47%
Sentra -8% (it was a model-change year for the Sentra, but the new one was down in December)
Xterra -6% (doesn’t anyone mountain bike anymore?)
Murano -4%
Titan -2%


VOLKSWAGEN GROUP +30%

The Volkswagen Group’s 2012 sales increase was the best of any major manufacturer, topping even resurgent Toyota. All five of the company’s brands operating in the States contributed, but the engine of the growth was Volkswagen. While the industry overall has seen its sales rebound back up to 2007 levels, VW sales in 2012 were running at a pace not seen since 1973. Interestingly, 1 in 5 VWs sold last year was a TDI.

Volkswagen +35%
Winners
Passat +413% (an outsized percent increase over the all-but-dead previous model, but more impressive is that it’s the Passat’s best full-year total ever)
Beetle +351%
Touareg +40%
Tiguan +22%
Golf/GTI +18%
Losers
CC -27%
Eos -18%
Routan -16%

Audi +19%
Winners
A6 +71%
A7 +37%
Q7 +22%
Q5 +15%
A5 +12%
Losers
R8 -30% (though it pains us to say it)

Porsche +21%
Winners
Cayenne +20%
Boxster +63%
911 +42%
Panamera +11%
Loser
Cayman -66% (that’s the old Cayman; the new one will be out soon)

Bentley +23%

Lamborghini +41%

Tostik
Volvo is up only 1% YOY. Nobody is popping the cork at Volvo, but there is a big sigh of relief. But in context, Volvo was up 25% from 2010 to 2011. And yes, the XC60 and the S60 is "pulling the train" for Volvo. (I don't know how the XC60 made it past the Ford bean counters). I think you'll see a big jump in US sales when the new redesigned XC90 comes out in 2014.

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