• Jan 14, 2010


While it may come as no surprise that Asian car companies are constantly gaining market share in the U.S. market, the actual numbers are quite amazing. Ten years ago, companies like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and the rest accounted for a little more than one-quarter of total light-vehicle sales in the States. By 2005, that figure stood at 36.6 percent. By 2007? 41.9 percent. In 2009, Asian automakers sold a full 47.9 percent of the cars and light trucks we Americans bought.

These numbers come from the latest report by Ward's Auto. Perhaps predictably, that same dispatch tells us that American automakers were hurt the most by those Asian gains. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were once part of an American auto industry that accounted for nearly 70 percent of sales in 1999. The Detroit Three had just a 44.8 percent market share a decade later. The European automakers have also gained a bit in the U.S. over the past decade. Still, they only account for 7.3 percent of the market right now.

If the Japanese and Korean manufacturers post gains for 2010 that are similar to the 2009 increases, they will pass the 50 percent mark for the first time in history. Individually, companies like Toyota have fared the best, nearly doubling their slice of the American pie, going from 8.7 to 17 percent since 1999. While Ford shared the biggest gain last year compared to 2008, they were also one of the decade's biggest losers, dropping 8.3 percent. Maybe last year's gain is a sign of recovery for the domestic automakers, but the troubles at GM and Chrysler don't bode well for the group. Check out the full breakdown by clicking the Ward's source link below.

[Source: Ward's Automotive]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM, Ford and Chrysler have no one but themselves to blame for their current predicament. In fact, there is absolutely no reason they shouldn't enjoy a much better market share than they already have.

      GM should be sitting pretty with 30%, Ford with 20% and Chrysler with 15%. The Europeans could garner about 10%, which would leave the Asian manufacturers to duke it out for the remaining 25%.

      Unfortunately the Asian manufacturers had a better game plan than the Detroit 3.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How about some blame for a federal government which has allowed our trade deficit to grow to annual levels of $700 BILLION?
        • 5 Years Ago
        How about the people who buy foriegn cars who don`t take into consideration that it was our manufacturing industry that helped build the Army that won WWII for our freedom.
        I think about that when I go shopping. Blessed are us who are born into a great standard of living. Shop the home brands first! Yes it does matter.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How about the people who buy foriegn cars who don`t take into consideration that it was our manufacturing industry that helped build the Army that won WWII for our freedom.
        I think about that when I go shopping. Blessed are us who are born into a great standard of living. Shop the home brands first! Yes it does matter.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What is the common denominator of the losing manufacturers?
      THE UAW!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Of the "losing manufacturers", two still occupy two of the top three sales slots and one is still #1. The market is crowded with more manufacturers with more models than we had 30 years ago. It's only natural that room would have to be made. That has absolutely nothing to do with the UAW.
      • 5 Years Ago
      With all the new products coming from GM and Ford, I would not be surprised if the domestics increase their market share.
      • 5 Years Ago
      RayJ, of course the Cruze is doing fine around the globe right now, THAT'S MY POINT. By the time they bring it to market here, everyone else's new products will be out....and once again, GM will be a non-competitive also-ran.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You are on target RAyJ. Much of GM (and Ford's) loss over the last 3-4 years has been due to the collapse of the truck and SUV market after gas prices rose. The recession has killed construciton which has futher eroded pickup sales. While product plays a huge part the fact is the Japanese have been helped by factors beyond their control. In additon, C4C was a joke that actually helped the Asian automakers more than GM or Ford which is crazy because the government owns most of GM. The program was launched when GM/Chrysler had just restarted factories and had little inventory of eligible vehicles. The fact that the program had no provisions that favored US made vehicles was a boon to the Asian automakers who import most of their fuel efficient vehicles.

      Gm should be able to at least maintain a 20% share in 2010. If the economy recovers pickup sales will recover and that will help GM/Ford a lot more than Toyota or Honda. Regal and Cruze will add real volume and the recent launches should sell better now that GM has cranked up output. They have 3 shifts working on Equinox and Terrain and cannot built up adequate supply- all of this in a depressed market. 2011 should be a great year for all of the Big 3 because they have so much new product coming that year. Even Chrysler has nowhere to go but up at this point once they launch 300, Charger, 500, JGC plus all the revised models that we've been hearing about.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Because even last year, Toyota gained a lot of marketshare? GM released a lot of new products last year and still lost marketshare. Ford is really the only one that has gained marketshare.
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM lost share because it closed down 4 brands in 2009 and stoppped making Saturns and Pontiacs months ago. It was a no brainer. Toyota only gained share because they lost sales at a slower rate than GM. Conversely Toyota sales dropped by a larger % than Ford and thus Ford and Hyundai gained share in 2009.

        Revisit this story in 5-10 years. The Asian automakers wont gain much more share- in fact they may not get higher than this. Why? GM and Ford are about to attack the small car market like never before. No longer will American automakers not compete in the compact and subcompact segments. Ford doenst even offer a subcompact and GM has a subpar entry. All that changes in 2010 and 2011. Whomever said the Cruze will be a generation behind mediocre crap like the Corolla is on crack. The Cruze has a standard 6 speed transmission and will get 40mpg on the highway while offering more space, features and hp than the Corolla. Toyota is still using a 4 speed automatic on their 2nd best selling US model. Pathetic for the world's richest automaker. The Focus and Cruze are both going to be launched with big ad campaigns and will gain share relative to their predecessors. If you look at what has happened with the Fusion, Taurus, Malibu, Traverse, Equinox, etc. its plain to see what will happen with Cruze, Fiesta, Aveo and Focus. The best part is almost anyone buying any of those 4 models likely drives an import now- or at least the majority of potential buyers will be import owners.

        The other factor here is that Hyundai is doing far better than their Japanese counterparts and they inflate that Asian automaker figure. Japan and Korea are two different things. Hyundai and AMerican automakers will gain some share over the next 5 years- Japanese will lose it. Look for VW to make a dent in Japanese share as well because VW products are most likely to appeal to import intenders instead of folks who lean towards Chevy or Ford.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jeez,

        Does your "analysis" factor in the fact that GM has not been making more Pontiacs, Saturns and Hummers ? Of course not. Once this is factored in, GM's numbers are not as severe.

        Open your eyz pleez Cheez.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No one to blame but Detroit's upper management.

      It's not like this is some sudden development that no one predicted. This has been in the works for DECADES.

      I see things improving for Detroit what with their renewed emphasis (FINALLY!) on cars, but it's going to be VERY tough to get people that are happy with their 2nd or 3rd or 4th Japanese car to bother with an unknown American car unless it is much better and/or cheaper.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        And the only reason people buy Vettes is because they cant afford a real supercar, or they think its the 60's still.

        Or they've never been in a car with an interior that doesn't look like a plastic factory threw up on it, and don't know better.

        seriously
        • 5 Years Ago
        invisible pigeon, you're an idiot.

        At least statistics on auto sales back up mr. vette....you've got nothing.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, there's lots of statistics to back up Mr Vette? There's so many people out there buying cassette decks that there's statistical evidence to back the claim up? uh huh...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly!

        Here in South Florida, all the old people used to drive Buicks or Crown Victorias. Today, all they buy are Camry's and Corolla's. It's the "in" thing with them now.

        When driving with my wife, we have a joke. If you see a Camry, LOOK OUT!!! Usually, it's an old person!!! Oh, this applies to Lexus ES350's as well.

        Another reason why old people buy Toyota's...they still offer cassette players. I'm serious.
        Lar7789789
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chris
        1:26PM (1/14/2010)
        invisible pigeon, you're an idiot.

        At least statistics on auto sales back up mr. vette....you've got nothing


        Yea, but the Vette is still pretty outdated, I mean come on, GM finally got out of the 80's and finally dropped the flip up headlights on the Vette in 2005, and that low tech hugemongous engine has to go, I would have more respect for the Corvette if they went to a smaller displacement OHC engine putting out 500+ horsepower.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, but any of those vehicles won't be that great. Frankly, the Spark is too small. And the Cruze, like the Cobalt and Cavalier before it, will be a generation behind all the competitors being released at the same time. GM is not very good at hitting a moving target. They take the current Civic and use it as a benchmark. But when they FINALLY get it to market many years later, bam, they're behind.

      They need to get a clue down there. Clearly Ford did.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sadly, patriotism and loyalty seem to mean nothing for 50% of American car buyers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Both Chrysler AND GM lost marketshare.
      • 5 Years Ago
      USA ! USA ! USA ! ! !
      • 5 Years Ago
      The biggest lesson: make a good product, and buyers will come. Ford is finally learning this and with a new Malibu coming in 2011 so might GM; here's to hoping they keep their line-up fresh over the next decade.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I would say that most of GM's crap was built in the late 70's through the 80's. By the 90's there were many reliable if uninspired cars. I know because I owned a few of them and they served me well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know....that lesson is a bit two-folded.

        GM basically built crap in the 80s & 90s and couldn't sell enough of the BS they built. I don't know who to blame more for the reason the Big3 are so far behind, collectively.

        (1) On one hand, I'm upset with GM for sitting atop their (US market) throne and badge-engineering everything they made while the foreign competition continued to refine their products on a regular basis.
        (2) On the other hand, I blame all those mindless consumers who blindly purchased the crap being sold by the US automakers --- year after year --- no matter how inferior, the "faithful" would get these cars w/o shopping around.

        Maybe the Big3's financial problems is an indirect result of the combination of two issues I have and that they may have perpetuated each other.
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