• Jan 5, 2010
Subaru, Kia and Hyundai increase alone, FoMoCo loses least

Most automakers giving themselves a pat on the back for a strong sales performance in December should take a second look at the books. A good month of sales to finish off a crappy year still equals a crappy year of sales. The chart below makes this perfectly evident, as only three individual brands and no multi-brand automakers managed to make it through 2009 selling more vehicles than they did in 2008. Not surprisingly, Subaru, Kia and Hyundai (in that order) were the three brands to post an overall sales increase in 2009, with Subaru posting a double-digit rise of 15 percent. With 216,652 sales overall, Subaru now sells more vehicles in the U.S. than Volkswagen and Mazda, two direct competitors with larger lineups.

Though no multi-brand automaker can claim a sales victory in 2009, you might be surprised to learn that Ford Motor Company with its Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo brands performed the best. FoMoCo sales in 2009 fell 15 percent, a smaller drop than any of its competitors. Toyota Motor Company sales (Toyota and Lexus combined) fell over 20 percent, but the Japanese juggernaut still managed to beat Ford in number of vehicles sold (1.77 million to 1.68 million).

The rest of the industry's performance can be viewed in the chart below. Note that there were 308 selling days in both 2008 and 2009, so the percent change in volume sold will equal the percent change in the daily average sales rate.

Brand/Company Volume % Dec. '09 Dec. '08 DSR* % DSR Dec. '09 DSR Dec. '08
Subaru 15.43 216,652 187,699 15.43 703 609
Kia 9.75 300,063 273,397 9.75 974 888
Hyundai 8.29 435,064 401,742 8.29 1,413 1,304
Volkswagen -4.34 213,454 223,128 -4.34 693 724
Audi -5.75 82,716 87,760 -5.75 269 285
Ford -14.34 1,445,742 1,687,731 -14.34 4,694 5,480
Mercedes-Benz -15.34 190,604 225,128 -15.34 619 731
Volvo -15.96 61,435 73,102 -15.96 199 237
Mini -16.37 45,225 54,077 -16.37 147 176
Lexus -16.96 215,975 260,087 -16.96 701 844
Nissan -17.81 689,014 838,361 -17.81 2,237 2,722
Honda -18.63 1,045,061 1,284,261 -18.63 3,393 4,170
Toyota -20.61 1,554,174 1,957,575 -20.61 5,046 6,356
BMW -21.12 196,502 249,113 -21.12 638 809
Mazda -21.29 207,767 263,949 -21.29 675 857
Lincoln -22.79 82,847 107,295 -22.79 269 348
Mercury -23.24 92,299 120,248 -23.24 300 390
Porsche -24.35 19,696 26,035 -24.35 64 85
Chevrolet -25.35 1,344,629 1,801,131 -25.35 4,366 5,848
Buick -25.43 102,306 137,197 -25.43 332 445
Acura -26.84 105,723 144,504 -26.84 343 469
Infiniti -28.23 81,089 112,989 -28.23 263 367
Jeep -30.61 231,701 333,901 -30.61 752 1,084
GMC -31.09 259,779 376,996 -31.09 843 1,224
Cadillac -32.31 109,092 161,159 -32.31 354 523
Pontiac -33.31 178,300 267,348 -33.31 579 868
Dodge -33.34 522,686 784,113 -33.34 1,697 2,546
Smart -40.72 14,595 24,622 -40.72 47 80
Mitsubishi -44.85 53,636 97,257 -44.85 174 316
Chrysler -47.18 177,015 335,108 -47.18 575 1,088
Saab -59.38 8,680 21,368 -59.38 28 69
Saturn -61.35 72,660 188,004 -61.35 236 610
Hummer -67.09 9,046 27,485 -67.09 29 89
COMPANIES
Ford Mo Co -15.39 1,682,323 1,988,376 -15.39 5,462 6,456
Nissan NA -19.05 770,103 951,350 -19.05 2,500 3,089
American Honda -19.46 1,150,784 1,428,765 -19.46 3,736 4,639
Toyota Mo Co -20.18 1,770,149 2,217,662 -20.18 5,747 7,200
BMW Group -20.27 241,727 303,190 -20.27 785 984
General Motors -30.07 2,084,492 2,980,688 -30.07 6,768 9,678
Chrysler Group
-35.90 931,402 1,453,122 -35.90 3,024 4,718


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Forgive my ignorance if I'm missing something, but why are KIA and Hyundai not considered a "multi-brand group?" Doesn't the latter own the former?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Also, Hyundai presently owns only 39% of Kia.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, I was going to ask the same thing.

        From Wikipedia:
        The Hyundai Kia Automotive Group is South Korea's largest automobile manufacturer, the second largest automaker in Asia after Toyota and the world's fourth largest automaker after Toyota, GM and Volkswagen.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No Jaguar/Land Rover numbers? Won't be much... but I would have thought significant enough to be on there if say Saab gets on there. Or do they get on there because of GM? I thought Jag might have been OK because they were coming of such a hideous base prior to the XF.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hopefully 2010 sales will be better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Might I point out to all of those joking about Buick being irrelevant and for old people...for all of you wondering why GM kept Buick, here's an interesting thing to note:

      Scion sold 3,771 vehicles in December and 57,961 last year, in low-priced, high-volume segments of the market. They have a 3-model lineup with one aging model (tC) and two relatively new ones (xB and xD).

      Buick sold 12,237 vehicles in December month and 102,305 last year. They sold in higher-priced, lower-volume segments of the market. And they sold a 3-model lineup with - for most of the year - two aging models (Lucerne, '09 LaCrosse) and one newer (Enclave).

      For those of you saying that Buick customers are dying off, you're wrong again:

      Scion sales: Down 9% for December, Down 49% for all of '09.
      Buick sales: Up 37% for December, Down 25% for all of '09.

      I know it isn't exactly apples-to-apples, but I thought I'd introduce some perspective here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I write from Italy and follow the Fiat brand, for those interested in registrations in the world of Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo:

      http://www.carsitaly.net

      I also collected data from Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep from 2007 to today in the United States.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, congrats to the Top Three Auto Sales Leaders...

      John, where's Suzuki though?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "John, where's Suzuki though?"

        Paging Mr. Neff
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's amazing to think that you can sell less cars and actually gain marketshare (like Ford).

      The relative volume is more shocking, more then the percent. GM sold close to 3 million cars in 2008, and a little over 2 million cars in 2009. A 30% drop is a bigger deal then Ford's drop; ~2 million to almost 1.7 million.

      Now Ford (and Toyota) are a mere ~300k or so cars away from GM, that was an impossible thought a few years ago.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can someone offer an anylysis to why GM's numbers have fallen so much. Yes, I undertstand Pontiac and Saturn no longer contribute to sales volume, but where are the shoppers of those brands going and why???
        • 5 Years Ago
        ... you might want to start by reading the comments before yours before posting, it's already been hit on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thanks, Zamifir. I've read the previous comments and those from "Jake, " but my question is why are buyers from existing Chrysler brands or defunct GM brands moving over Ford's product line in what appear to be droves. As what's already been pointed out GM lost 30% over last year compared to Ford's relatively modest 15% decline. Are would be GM and Chrysler buyers responding to the government's bailout or does Ford simply have better product?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Both.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Neuf,

        60% of Pontiac's 2008 sales were to fleets.

        Malibu sales were up 12% for Dec, 2,019 units higher than last year.

        G6 sales were down 3,790 over LY. Take away 60% of that loss because they were to rental fleets and therefore don't apply to retail conquest buyers, and you get 1,516 retail.

        Aura sales fell 134 units over LY.

        So GM sold about 450 or so MORE midsize cars to retail customers this year than they did last year. So, strictly speaking, they aren't losing sales to anyone in that market.

        Honda

        Do the same thing with compact CUVs:

        Equinox: Sales UP 6,964 units for Dec '09.
        Terrain: Added 5,547 units for Dec '09.

        Torrent lost 1,820 units for Dec '09
        Vue lost 5,574 units for Dec '09.

        So, the Equinox and Terrain picked up 5,117 MORE customers than the Pontiac and Saturn brands lost on their discontinued CUVs.

        I don't think GM is losing too many customers to Ford. Chrysler probably is, though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Congrats to Subaru and Hyundai/KIA!
      • 5 Years Ago
      What are the other 57 days considered? That averages to over a day a week not considered a sales day. Do Tuesdays not count?

      Also: Yeah, what about Suzuki?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Good luck finding a dealer that's open on Sunday.

        Personally, I don't understand why they aren't open then. In the summer, you usually see a few people who have parked in front of the gate and are wandering around checking prices and options.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sundays don't count as selling days? Is that just a clerical thing?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Where is Suzuki and how can Mitsubishi's dealers survive on a volume of 53K vehicles given that they are not expensive European cars and thus command lower average revenue per car sold.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They sell other brands, through service, and through used cars.
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