• Jan 4, 2011
2010 will be forever known as the year after that really bad year. 2009 was a horrible string of days for just about everyone who had two pennies to rub together, but automakers were hit particularly hard.

The only good thing for automakers about such a bad 2009 is that it made every month in 2010 look good in comparison. And so it is that those green bills earned from all those extra car sales is represented by the preponderance of green-shaded cells in our By the Numbers table. Here's the crib sheet of noteworthy news to be gleaned from our wall of numerals below. If you spot more noteworthy items, call them out in the Comments.

  • The four remaining "Core" brands of General Motors sold more in 2010 than the eight brands of Old GM sold in 2009: 2,202,927 to 2,084,492.
  • Ford Motor Company outsold Toyota Motor Company to regain its No. 2 sales position by General Motors.
  • If Hyundai and Kia were counted together in the U.S., their combined sales of 894,496 units would make them the seventh largest automaker in the U.S.. Separately they are the seventh and eighth largest and the largest single-brand automakers in the U.S.
  • Subaru, one of the best performing brands of the past two years, sold more vehicles in 2010 than Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker: 263,820 to 256,830.
  • Buick sales increased the most in 2010 with a 51.89-percent increase, while Smart sales fell the farthest with a 59.39-percent decline.
  • The three best performing brands of 2010 are from General Motors (Buick, Cadillac and GMC)
  • Audi sold over 100,000 vehicles in the U.S. for the first time ever.


Brand/Company Vol. % Volume 2010 Volume 2009 DSR*% DSR% 2010 DSR% 2009
Buick 51.89 155,389 102,306 52.88 508 332
Cadillac 34.68 146,925 109,092 35.56 480 354
GMC 28.95 334,981 259,779 29.79 1,095 843
Porsche 28.55 25,320 19,696 29.39 83 64
Infiniti 27.53 103,411 81,089 28.36 338 263
Acura 26.37 133,606 105,723 27.20 437 343
Jeep 25.65 291,138 231,701 26.47 951 752
Hyundai 23.71 538,228 435,064 24.52 1,759 1,413
Audi 22.86 101,629 82,716 23.67 332 269
Subaru 21.77 263,820 216,652 22.57 862 703
Ford 21.49 1,756,439 1,445,742 22.28 5,740 4,694
Land Rover 21.13 31,864 26,306 21.92 104 85
Volkswagen 20.32 256,830 213,454 21.11 839 693
Kia 18.73 356,268 300,063 19.51 1,164 974
Mercedes-Benz 18.05 225,007 190,604 18.82 735 619
Dodge 17.13 383,675 327,574 17.89 1,254 1,064
Nissan 16.86 805,159 689,014 17.62 2,631 2,237
Chevrolet 16.44 1,565,632 1,344,629 17.20 5,116 4,366
BMW 12.02 220,113 196,502 12.75 719 638
Jaguar 11.59 13,340 11,955 12.31 44 39
Chrysler 11.54 197,446 177,015 12.27 645 575
Mazda 10.49 229,566 207,767 11.21 750 675
Ram 9.14 212,952 195,112 9.86 696 633
Lexus 6.18 229,329 215,975 6.88 749 701
Honda 4.96 1,096,874 1,045,061 5.64 3,585 3,393
Mitsubishi 3.82 55,683 53,636 4.50 182 174
Lincoln 3.60 85,828 82,847 4.28 280 269
Mercury 0.97 93,195 92,299 1.63 305 300
Mini 0.93 45,644 45,225 1.59 149 147
Toyota -1.28 1,534,266 1,554,174 -0.64 5,014 5,046
Volvo -12.19 53,948 61,435 -11.61 176 199
Saab -37.26 5,446 8,680 -36.85 18 28
Suzuki -37.98 23,994 38,689 -37.58 78 126
(Hummer) -57.86 3,812 9,046 -57.58 12 29
Smart -59.39 5,927 14,595 -59.12 19 47
(Saturn) -95.42 12,300 268,686 -95.39 40 872
(Pontiac) -99.34 1,182 178,300 -99.33 4 579
COMPANIES
GM (Core) 21.32 2,202,927 1,815,806 22.11 7,199 5,895
Ford Mo Co 19.41 1,935,462 1,620,888 20.19 6,325 5,263
Jaguar Land Rover 18.15 45,204 38,261 18.92 148 124
Nissan NA 17.98 908,570 770,103 18.75 2,969 2,500
Chrysler Group 16.51 1,085,211 931,402 17.28 3,546 3,024
BMW Group 9.94 265,757 241,727 10.66 868 785
American Honda 6.93 1,230,480 1,150,784 7.62 4,021 3,736
GM 6.27 2,215,227 2,084,492 6.97 7,239 6,768
Toyota Mo Co -0.37 1,763,595 1,770,149 0.28 5,763 5,747
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 306 selling days in 2010 versus 308 selling days in 2009, so the change in monthly sales volume will be different than the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yawn wake me up when these automakers sale 1 billion cars each.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think the best performing brand should be FORD. It sold 300K more this year compared to last year. I think sometimes you need to throw away statistics and use raw data instead. Second is Chevy with over 200K more and third is Nissan with 116K and fourth is which is no big surprise is Hyundai with 103K. Now compare these numbers with Honda (+51K), Toyota (-20K). Whats actually more indicative of how Toyota is hurt with its recalls woes is that, its the only company (as a group) that saw its total sales decline while GM (+387K), FORD (+314K) and Nissan (+138K) gained. Hyundai I believe is the real story here. Its momentum is dramatic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Kudos to Ford for regaining that number 2 spot again! Even though all the executives said that they really didn't care what their position was, you know that behind closed doors their are celebrations. Now, maybe in 2 or 3 years we can see Chrysler move past Honda and just maybe if Santa is good to us that year, Toyota too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      NUMBER NOBODY ONE WANT TO KNOW.
      CAMRY- 31,223
      ACCORD- 29,457
      ALTIMA- 23,016
      FUSION- 22,629
      SONATA- 15,964
      What is happening with the Sonata, its a mistery.
      The demise of Honda is a rusty story.
      The recalls dont affect Toyota.
      New Accord, New Camry, new Civic, new Corolla, new Altima, new malibu
      and the Sonata showing fisures, just meams problems for Hyundai.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "New Accord, New Camry, new Civic, new Corolla, new Altima, new malibu
        and the Sonata showing fisures, just meams problems for Hyundai."

        What?? The Camcordollacivtima are all old compared to the Sonata. The Sonata is the only new model on the list. The next 2 years will be very interesting with new generations coming, especially the Civic this fall (if Honda doesn't screw it up) and the new Camry perhaps as early as this Spring.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's pretty simple: EOY buyers are typically bargain hunters and Hyundai just didn't have cash on the hood, while others, especially Nissan, did. Hyundai's also choked down on the fleets sales. Sonata still finished third for the year for retail sales. Also note that you didn't mention that Malibu sold only 11,520 for December, yet you were still screaming something about Malibu.

        You also don't seem to mention that Sonata sold 76,595 more this year than last year, for a 39% increase. Malibu did 37,205 more, up 23%. Accord managed 21,325, for a 8% increase. Altima sold 25,695 more, or 13%. Fusion picked up 38,548 units or 21%. And Camry dropped 29,020 units, or -8%.

        What's the problem again?
      • 4 Years Ago
      A lot of you need to stop with the fuzzy math.

      General Motors dealers reported 223,932 total sales in December, a 16-percent increase from a year ago for the company’s four brands. The gain was driven by solid retail sales which were 27 percent higher than a strong December a year ago. For the calendar year, total sales for GM’s four brands increased 21 percent to 2,202,927, while retail sales rose 16 percent for the year. GM’s four brands sold 118,435 more vehicles this year than the company did with eight brands in 2009, and will gain total and retail market share for the year.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just did a quick spreadsheet. If you add up the top part of the chart under brand sales totals, you can find the total for 2010 (11,596,166) and 2009 (10,638,203) then divide the sales totals for each brand/company for each year by the corresponding annual total to get market share. Subtracting the two numbers from each other, for brands Ram had 0 market share growth and everything below it lost marketshare. For companies, BMW gained .02% marketshare and everything below it lost market share.

      overall sales in 2010 were up 9% according to this chart
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's good to see most of them back in the green/black again, and the ones in the red aren't really surprising either.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looking at the numbers I'm still pissed/shocked GM axed Pontiac...

      As a current G8 GXP owner, and 05 GTO former owner, I'm biased sure...BUT Pontiac still racked up impressive sales numbers in 09 in spite of years of watered down product and badge engineering...the effing G8 was a world-class vehicle too, could've marked a real turning point for the tin indian...

      But as usual GM made a questionable and infuriating decision...for the first time in my life my next daily driver (GMC currently) will not come from GM *sigh*
      • 4 Years Ago
      In addition, Chevy sold almost 11,000 Cruze in December which is really impressive for a brand new vehicle. I think 2011 will be a great year for the Cruze and should bring some serious heat in fighting for the top seller in the compact segment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      1. GM

      2. Toyota (Toyota, Lexus, Scion, Subaru (controlling interest at 17%))

      3. Ford

      4. Honda

      5. Chrysler

      These are the Big 5.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Subaru isn't Toyota, no matter how much you wish it were.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Its nice seeing so many automakers doing well!
        • 4 Years Ago
        The 16.51 percent increase for Chrysler Group is the most amazing.

        Most of their updated product line will be hitting the streets here in 2011. If they performed that well in '10 with just an updated Cherokee for most of the year then '11 should be huge when consumers start to notice the improved Sebring (200), Journey, Town&Country, Durango, Wrangler, Avenger, Patriot, Compass, Charger, and later on the 300. (Sorry Caliber fans....)

        All of their reworked products have gotten great reviews. Hopefully their newfound quality will speak for itself.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is nice to see Chrysler doing so well, especially when a majority of people said they could never do it. And this is before they even release their updated stuff. Caliber fans might not get an updated one like the rest of the line-up this year, but they will be getting a replacement from Fiat relatively soon for 2012. I look forward to the 8 Speed Auto Trans and a Charger SRT8 392.
        • 4 Years Ago
        RAndroid

        Re-read what John said. You'll understand.

        "It appears that Ford is actually the #1 selling brand name on cars in the country! WOW"

        "Very apple/orange comparison and inaccurate to say "cars"."

        He said "cars" for a reason.friend.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Chrysler had the biggest drop of any major OEM 2008-2009 (-36%), so they you're seeing a positive comparison against some really horrible numbers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey Randroid, you may want to be aware that Ford's numbers include all Ford Trucks and SUVs while many of GM's are in the GMC numbers and all of Chrysler's are now in the RAM numbers. Very apple/orange comparison and inaccurate to say "cars".
        • 4 Years Ago
        I said brand name for a reason.friend.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Considering the deals (or should I call them steals) that Chrysler hands out, it's not really surprising that Chrysler has gone up. I could lease a Ram for probably cheaper then a Focus with my dad's Ford A-plan right now. I work with a guy who is leasing a 2010 $33k Town and Country for $250 a month ($500 down). He was leasing an 07 Ram when I started my job and was paying around $220 a month with $500 down. That truck was more than $30k. He almost bought the truck but decided against it because he wanted a kid. Probably could have gotten it for around $20k.

        I can't even get anything in Ford's lineup around that price...even with my dad's A-plan. I would need a decent sized down payment....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Indeed! It's great for EVERYONE

        Hey I just noticed something. Brand for brand, with 1,756,439 units sold. It appears that Ford is actually the #1 selling brand name on cars in the country! WOW
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