Industry finishes year strong with Ford up 33% and GM down 6%

It appears that all your Toyotathons, Nissan A-Z Year End Events and Ford Year-End Sales Events worked their magic in the month of December, as the final 31 days of 2009 saw positive sales for most brands and automakers in the U.S. The biggest story is perhaps the Ford brand, which saw its sales rise 37 percent in December to 159,169 units, just 126 units shy of beating Toyota and its 159,295 units sold. The Ford Fusion and Escape had particularly good months to end a great year, with monthly sales rising 86 and 75 percent respectively. In the battle of the big brands, Chevrolet came in last with sales falling 1.5 percent on 135,622 units sold.

As they have been for the entire year, Kia, Hyundai and Subaru ended the year on high notes with sales rising 44 and 41 percent respectively for the Korean brands and 33 percent for the Japanese brand.

In terms of multi-brand companies, every one had something to smile about except Chrysler and General Motors. The Pentastar people will be glad to put behind a month that saw their sales fall about four percent overall, with only Dodge managing an small rise in sales last month. General Motors, meanwhile, can't wait to get its four non-core brands off the books, as Saab, Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn managed to weigh down the company's sales performance to the tune of a six percent slide.

Stay tuned, as we'll be publishing our By The Numbers evaluation of 2009 as a whole later on today.

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 28 selling days in December 2009 and 26 selling days in December 2008, so the change in monthly sales volume will be different than the change in the average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company.

Brand/Company Volume % Dec. '09
Dec. '08 DSR* % DSR 12/09 DSR 12/08
Kia 43.73 21,048 14,644 33.46 752 563
Hyundai 40.60 33,797 24,037 30.56 1,207 925
Buick 37.36 12,237 8,909 27.54 437 343
Ford 36.99 159,169 116,188 27.21 5,685 4,469
Toyota 34.33 159,295 118,587 24.73 5,689 4,561
Subaru 33.48 23,074 17,287 23.94 824 665
Honda 28.07 96,568 75,405 18.92 3,449 2,900
Lexus 22.27 28,565 23,362 13.54 1,020 899
Nissan 19.44 64,296 53,829 10.91 2,296 2,070
Audi 17.09 9,030 7,712 8.73 323 297
Volkswagen 15.99 20,387 17,577 7.70 728 676
Lincoln 15.62 10,467 9,053 7.36 374 348
Volvo 13.83 5,638 4,953 5.70 201 191
BMW 11.45 20,128 18,060 3.49 719 695
Cadillac 11.41 14,745 13,235 3.45 527 509
Infiniti 10.11 9,108 8,272 2.24 325 318
Mercedes-Benz 8.20 20,025 18,507 0.47 715 712
Mercury 5.73 9,381 8,873 -1.83 335 341
GMC 4.82 31,220 29,783 -2.66 1,115 1,146
Mazda 1.61 18,255 17,965 -5.64 652 691
Dodge 0.68 47,591 47,269 -6.51 1,700 1,818
Acura -0.98 10,575 10,680 -8.06 378 411
Chevrolet -1.50 135,622 137,691 -8.54 4,844 5,296
Porsche -1.67 2,118 2,154 -8.69 76 83
Mini -2.16 3,489 3,566 -9.15 125 137
Mitsubishi -4.70 4,355 4,570 -11.51 156 176
Chrysler -6.84 18,122 19,453 -13.50 647 748
Jeep -9.88 20,810 23,091 -16.32 743 888
Saab -26.38 868 1,179 -31.64 31 45
Pontiac -48.86 8,410 16,446 -52.52 300 633
Smart -63.09 864 2,341 -65.73 31 90
Saturn -84.29 5,084 32,365 -85.41 182 1,245
Hummer -85.02 325 2,170 -86.09 12 83
COMPANIES
Ford Mo Co 32.78 184,655 139,067 23.30 6,595 5,349
Toyota Mo Co 32.34 187,860 141,949 22.89 6,709 5,460
American Honda
24.46 107,143 86,085 15.57 3,827 3,311
Nissan NA 18.20 73,404 62,101 9.76 2,622 2,389
BMW Group 9.21 23,617 21,626 1.41 843 832
Chrysler Group -3.66 86,523 89,813 -10.54 3,090 3,454
General Motors -6.07 208,511 221,983 -12.78 7,447 8,538