April 7, 2020

U.S. Auto Sales Ended 2011 With Strong Gains

For Chrysler, December was the best month in nearly three years, as passenger-car deliveries more than doubled and total sales rose 37 percent. Chrysler’s sales for all of 2011 were up 26 percent.

General Motors reported a 5 percent increase in December and a 13 percent gain for the year.

At the Ford Motor Company, sales were up 10 percent in December and 11 percent for the year. Sales by Ford’s namesake brand totaled 2.06 million, the most by any automotive brand since 2007.

“The year finished on a high note, with industry sales momentum strengthening as the year came to a close,” Ken Czubay, Ford’s vice president for United States marketing, sales and service, said in a statement. “We saw Ford sales strengthen as well, posting our best December retail sales month since 2005 and closing the year as America’s best-selling brand.”

Nissan posted a 15 percent increase for the full year, as its primary brand set a record, despite some disruptions after the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March. The company also reported an all-time high for December with a 7 percent increase.

Volkswagen reported gains of 36 percent for December and 26 percent for the year, its best since 2002.

Other carmakers were scheduled to report December and full-year sales later Wednesday.

For all of 2011, analysts said the industry sold about 12.8 million cars and trucks, a 10 percent increase from the 11.6 million sold in 2010.

Sales are expected to climb further this year. The automotive research Web site Edmunds.com is forecasting 2012 sales of 13.6 million, while another site, TrueCar.com, expects 13.8 million. Either figure would represent the industry’s best year since 2007, when sales totaled 16.1 million. G.M. forecast 2012 industry sales of 13.5 million to 14 million.

“Over the course of the fourth quarter of 2011, clear signs emerged that U.S. consumers are more confident and that other underpinnings of our economy are either stable or slowly improving,” Don Johnson, G.M.’s vice president of United States sales operations, said in a statement. “When we add improving economic fundamentals to pent-up demand and an aging vehicle fleet, it’s now clear that auto sales should continue to grow in 2012.”

The research firm J. D. Power Associates said December was the first month in which sales to individual consumers — a figure that excludes bulk deliveries to businesses and government buyers — topped 1 million for the first time since the August 2009 spike during the federal cash-for-clunkers trade-in program.

“The industry has managed through another series of external shocks and is in a healthier position as the year closes,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J. D. Power.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=a96187b9dcc6b460d79b863974809eca

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