Car Manufacturers Post Strong Gains, Big Three Pecking Order Returns

2012 Chevrolet Cruze ECO

Sales totals are in from last month, and they reveal some pretty impressive information. If you looked at the overall auto market in the United States, you would think we were experiencing an economic rebound. Despite a dire prognosis about the state of the economic recovery, overall sales are up significantly. American manufacturers are benefiting very much so from the uptick.

The biggest surprise is the Chrysler Group, which led in sales increase percentages with a 27.24% uptick in volume, to 127,334 units. Nissan posted the second biggest figure, with a 25.28% increase that brought it to 92,964 units. Third was General Motors with an increase of 19.76%, to 207,145 units. In the midst of these overall increases in sales, Honda and Toyota in particular posted steep losses.

You know what all of this means? That the top three selling automakers in the U.S are GM, Ford (up 8.91 to 175,199) and Chrysler – the traditional Big Three. That is a remarkable turnaround from the situation prior to the recession. The increase is due to few different factors, but it mainly boils down to impressive product. All three companies have revamped their product offerings significantly, with highly competitive and fuel-efficient vehicles leading the charge. It remains to see if that situation will continue.

Examining the data further reveals a few key points: the Chevrolet Cruze was once again the best-selling compact car with 18,097 sold, followed by the Toyota Corolla at 16,147. The Camry reclaimed its title as best-selling car in America, but only by the slimmest of margins. It outsold the Nissan Altima 24,851 to 24,356. The Fusion followed, in third place with 19,510.

There has been a bit of a sales race between the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang in the past, but the Camaro appears to be pulling away from the Mustang. Chevy moved 6,994 Camaros versus 5,054 Mustangs. Another rivalry that has been reported on is in the new “green” entrants – Chevrolet Volt versus the Nissan LEAF. The LEAF led the Volt 1,031 to 723 units. Many said the Volt would handily outsell the LEAF but that isn’t the case so far. It will be interesting to see if, despite soft economic growth, the auto market shows continued strength in the months ahead.

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