December closed out the year well for most

This week U.S auto manufactures reported their December sales and Annual numbers which just may spark a little notice with the fact people are in fact buying despite the tough economy.


Audi reports December U.S. sales of 9,030 luxury performance cars and SUVs, a result that ensured Audi will show the biggest 2009 U.S. market share gain of any imported luxury car brand. December 2009 ranked as the sixth-best month and the third-best December for the Audi brand in the U.S. The December 2009 sales represent a 17.1% increase from year-earlier December sales of 7,712 vehicles. "Audi clearly showed that it is the luxury brand on the move in 2009," said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. December proved to be the best sales month ever for the Q5 and A5, best month of year for A3, A4, A6 and Q7 with the Clean diesel TDI models make up 53% of A3 sales, 43% of Q7 sales. Audi sold a total of 82,716 units for the entire 2009 year, 5.7% lower than the previous year.


Sales for BMW increased 11.5% in December for a total of 20,128 vehicles compared to 18,060 vehicles reported in the same month a year ago. For the year, BMW brand sales were down 21.1 percent to 196,502 vehicles compared to 249,113 vehicles sold in 2008. The top sellers were the X5 up 22.3 percent compared to December 2008. The BMW X6 was up 30.1 percent. The 5 Series gained 5.8 percent vs. December 2008 just prior to the introduction of an all-new 5 Series in the second quarter of 2010. The all-new BMW 7 Series and Z4 Roadster also had significant increases compared to last December, partially due to model cycle updates and limited inventory a year ago. “The numbers show a good month for us, but more importantly is the fact we saw traffic, shopping and sales evenly distributed throughout December,” said Jim O’Donnell, President of BMW of North America, LLC.


Chrysler Group today reported December sales increased 36 percent compared with November 2009 and 20 of 24 vehicles posted sales increases for the same time period. Inventory is down 55 percent compared with December 2008, with 178,538 units in inventory, representing a 58-day supply. Chrysler’s annual sales fell to 931,402 vehicles down from the 1.5 million sold the 2008 year. “As we kick off the new year, Chrysler Group continues to build momentum with some of the best products in the marketplace, and we are enthusiastic about the new products coming this year,” said Fred Diaz, President and Chief Executive Officer-Ram Brand and Lead Executive for the Sales Organization, Chrysler Group LLC. “Our great Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram products are being recognized by opinion leaders in the industry, and consumers are responding in a positive way. In 2010 the company will continue to earn the trust of consumers with exciting, high-quality vehicles that are priced right.”


Ford, Lincoln and Mercury December sales up 33 percent versus a year ago; highest sales month since May 2008. 2009 marked the first time since 1995 that Ford announced full-year market share gain. Ford’s F-Series trucks has been the best selling truck for the past 33 years with a 16% increase this December. Ford also credits the ever so popular Fusion which had an increase of 83% for the month of December alone marking a new full-year sales record of units sold with the Escape having its second best ever sales year with an increase of 75% in December. December marks the 14th time in the last 15 months that Ford increased retail market share. Full-year sales totaled 1.62 million units still down 15% from the previous year. "People increasingly are discovering that the Ford difference is the strength of our products, particularly our leadership in quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart technologies and value," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing Sales and Service.

General Motors

GM dealers in the U.S. reported 160,996 retail deliveries in December — a 7 percent increase compared to last year, and a 50 percent increase over last month. Retail sales of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands were 146,419 — up 13 percent for the month. "The fact that our retail market share has increased two full points from the third to fourth quarters demonstrates that we are strengthening our brands," said Susan Docherty, vice president, Sales, Service and Marketing. December also marked the lowest dealer inventory at 385,000 units nationwide on record. Chevrolet retail sales were up 14 percent — driven by strong sales of Camaro, Traverse, Malibu and Equinox. Buick retail sales were up 32 percent compared with a year ago on the continued strength of LaCrosse and Enclave. GMC retail sales were up 4 percent vs. December 2008 on strong Acadia sales. Cadillac retail sales were up 7 percent, led by the 2010 SRX, with sales 357 percent higher than a year ago. GM estimated that total vehicle sales would fall to 10.6 million in 2009, the lowest since 1982 and down from 13.2 million in 2008 and 16.1 in 2007.


American Honda Motor Co. Inc. said Tuesday its U.S. sales jumped 24 percent in the last month of the year, but fell 19.5 percent for all of 2009. Sales in the Honda division rose 18.9 percent in December compared with 2008. But the company’s Acura division reported an 8.1 decline. Accord and CR-V increased to hit a new December record. Sales increased to 107,143 vehicles from 86,085 in December of 2008. For all of 2009, sales fell to 1,150,784 from 1,428,765.


Hyundai Motor America today announced December sales of 33,797, up more than 40 percent versus December 2008. For the full year, Hyundai reported 435,064 sales, up eight percent over the prior year total. Car of the Year Genesis set the tone for the month, recording an all-time, any-time, sales record in December. “We are looking forward to 2010 and have reason to be optimistic,” added Zuchowski. “Led by our strongest product lineup ever, highlighted by the all-new Tucson and all-new Sonata — and more great products in the pipeline — the ranking by the EPA as the most fuel-efficient car company in America, and the enhanced Hyundai Assurance program, it’s clear that we’re already off to a great start in 2010.” Hyundai recently announced an extension of their popular Hyundai Assurance program that permits Hyundai customers to return their new vehicle if they become unemployed. The program also adds in five years of roadside assistance and a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty.


Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced December sales of 21,048 units, a 43.7-percent increase over the same month last year, and total 2009 sales of 300,063 units, a 9.8-percent increase over the same period last year. Kia small cars, including Rio, Forte, Forte Koup and Soul led the way in monthly sales volume. “In the midst of our largest commitment to the U.S. market ever, we have once again prevailed against difficult economic times and a down automotive industry by increasing our market share for the 15th consecutive year,” said B.M. Ahn, group president and CEO of KMA and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia. “Our new and appealing design evolution paired with our core principles of quality, safety, value and technology will continue to boost our brand into the next decade.”


Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) reported December sales of 20,025 vehicles, its highest monthly volume of the year, bringing the company’s total 2009 volume to 190,604 and narrowing the gap versus last year to 15.3 percent. An increase of 8.2 percent compared to December 2008. Ernst Lieb, president and CEO of MBUSA said: “The strong finish to a year marked by challenges on every front, underscores the customer confidence in the Mercedes-Benz brand and the unstinting efforts we have undertaken in partnership with our retail network to provide an unparalleled ownership experience.”


Mitsubishi Motors North America said Tuesday its 2009 annual sales fell 44.5 percent, while sales for December dropped 4.7 percent even with the 49 percent increase over the month of November. Sales fell to 53,986 vehicles from 97,257 in 2008. In December, sales slid to 4,355 vehicles from 4,570 in December 2008. The Galant proved to be the top seller with 1,600 sold in December. “The improvement in December sales validates our renewed strategies and tactics,” said Shinichi Kurihara, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America. “The input provided by our dealers’ National Advisory Board has been instrumental in guiding our revised sales plans and actions, and will continue to do so as we collaborate to extend this sales momentum.”


Nissan Division posted sales of 64,296 units in December compared with 53,829 units sold in December 2008, a 19.4 percent increase. Nissan Versa set a record month as well as huge double digit increases in the sales of Maxima, Z, Frontier, Xterra, Pathfinder and Armada. For calendar year 2009, combined Nissan and Infiniti sales totaled 770,103 vehicles, compared with 951,350 vehicles sold in 2008, a 19.1 percent decline. "The industry is coming out of a very tough year; it’s good to see 2009 behind us,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, NNA. “Despite the huge challenges and uncertainties of last year, combined Nissan and Infiniti market share set a record in 2009. And looking ahead, we’re encouraged by some signs of economic improvement. Showroom traffic is building and consumer confidence is rising."


Subaru of America, Inc announced a record breaking sales year as the company sold 216,652 units in 2009, an increase of 15-percent. This breaks the previous sales record of 200,703 units sold in 2006. This also marks a record sales month for December 2009 as the company sold 23,074 units – an increase of 33-percent – versus 17,287 units sold in December 2008. December represented yet another record month for the Japanese manufacture. “We really owe this tremendous success to both our retailers and employees, who executed the business plans we set in place,” said Thomas J. Doll, EVP and COO of Subaru of America, Inc. “Along with our vision and their belief in the Subaru brand, they helped make that vision a reality,” Doll continued.


American Suzuki reported Tuesday that the automaker’s 2009 sales dropped 54 percent as December sales fell 48 percent. December sales dropped to 1,885, compared to 3,650 in 2008. For all of 2009, sales fell to 38,689 from 84,862 in 2008. The SX4 was the company’s top-selling model with 1,116 sold in December. Sales fell to 1,885 in December from 3,650 a year earlier. For all of 2009, sales fell to 38,689 from 84,862 in 2008.


Volkswagen of America, Inc. reported December 2009 sales of 20,387 total units, representing a 16 percent increase over December 2008. December marks Volkswagen’s sixth consecutive sales month above last year. The Jetta, Volkswagen of America’s top selling nameplate, posted strong December results with 10,233 units, a 26.9 percent increase over December 2008. Volkswagen’s clean diesel TDI models continue to perform especially well and accounted for over 20 percent of the brands total December sales. Volkswagen sold 213,454 total units for 2009, a decrease of 4.3 percent of the 223,128 units sold in 2008. “December’s performance was encouraging, as was the six consecutive months of sales growth that we have experienced. During those six months, Volkswagen sales increased 8.2 percent over the same period of last year,” said Mark Barnes, Chief Operating Officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “2009 proved to be another extremely challenging year for the Automotive Industry. We are encouraged by the fact that we were able to continue to grow our market share throughout 2009 despite the extremely challenging market conditions,” added Barnes.


Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (VCNA) December sales were up 13.8 percent in the United States, marking the seventh straight month of a year-over-year increase. In the United States, VCNA sold a total of 5,638 vehicles in December. Another major contributor to Volvo’s recent sales success Safe + Sound coverage plan which provides best-in-class coverage, provides the lowest cost of luxury ownership (according to IntelliChoice). Overall in North America (United States and Canada), Volvo has sold 67,975 units in 2009, which represents a 14.6 percent decrease for the same period of 2008.

About The Author

Sarah Mullins is Blast's Automotive Editor

One Response

  1. Mirak Automotive Group

    I think we are all glad to see 2009 behind us and 2010 should be a better year for all industries not just the automotive. At least it is getting the car manufacturers to really start thinking differently.


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