US New Vehicle Market On Road To Recovery

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19 April 2010 — The US new vehicle market looks to be on the long road to recovery, according to latest figures from the world’s leading provider of automotive data and intelligence, JATO Dynamics.

New vehicle sales in the United States for the first quarter, 2010, were 15.7% higher than the same period, 2009 – although they remain some way distant of the pre-recession Q1 2008.

In total, 2,544,829 cars and trucks were bought in Q1 2010, compared to 2,199,933 in Q1 last year. Both figures are still well down on the 3,570,360 sold in Q1 2008.

Every single one of the top five brands in cars and trucks have all increased sales, vs. 2009, but despite these changes in sales volumes, the proportion of cars and trucks has stayed virtually unchanged, with each accounting for around half the market.

Commented David Mitchell, President Americas: “It would appear the US new vehicle market is mirroring the wider US economy, in heading towards a tentative recovery, in both car and truck sales. The encouraging element is perhaps the experience of domestic manufacturers, with Ford and Chevrolet as the top two brands, both recording healthy sales gains.”

Brand Performance

As the leading brand in overall sales, Ford has posted a 40.4% increase in total sales and a 60.3% rise in its car sales, vs. Q1 2009.  Overall, Ford gained 2.7% market share in the first three months of 2010, its best quarterly performance since 1977.

While Ford trucks outsell cars almost 2:1, recent introductions such as the Fusion hybrid have helped the brand react to customer demand for more economical vehicles and end the quarter with 381,868 total sales.

Chevrolet – second overall and with a 38.8% total sales increase – also outsold import brands in combined car and truck sales, on its way to 337,785 new customers. It is second placed for both car and truck sales.

Of the major Japanese brands – Toyota, Honda and Nissan – only Nissan increased overall market share. Toyota’s total market share slipped back, from 13.9% last year, to 12.8% in Q1 2010, yet the brand retained its car sales crown, thanks to the enduring popularity of its Camry and Corolla/ Matrix models.

Top 5 brands

Vehicle Type
Make/Model
Q1 2010
Q1 2009
Diff 2010 
– 2009
% Change
Cars
TOYOTA
177,886
172,575
5,311
+3.1%
CHEVROLET
172,542
101,283
71,259
+70.4%
NISSAN
142,645
98,110
44,535
+45.4%
HONDA
141,280
120,938
20,342
+16.8%
FORD
136,698
85,266
51,432
+60.3%
Trucks
FORD
245,170
186,790
58,380
+31.3%
CHEVROLET
165,243
142,162
23,081
+16.2%
TOYOTA
148,704
132,742
15,962
+12.0%
HONDA
87,339
85,527
1,812
+2.1%
GMC
68,619
51,066
17,553
+34.4%
 

Model Performance

Japanese brands dominate car sales once again, with Toyota’s Camry and Corolla in first and third places, separated by the Honda Accord. The biggest news is that gap between first and second place which has been slashed to just 3,016 sales in the quarter (2009: 11,920 sales).
 
The truck market continues to be a very different place, led by domestic products.  Here, Ford’s F-Series pick-up remains unchallenged as America’s favourite truck, a position it has held for 33 years. It also continues as America’s best-selling vehicle overall, for 28 years in a row.  The F-Series and the Escape SUV are separated by the Chevrolet Silverado, in second. 
 

Top 5 Models

Vehicle Type
Make/Model
2010
2009
Diff 2010 
– 2009
%
Change
Cars
TOYOTA CAMRY
68,595
67,199
1,396
+2.1%
HONDA ACCORD
65,579
55,279
10,300
+18.6%
TOYOTA COROLLA/MATRIX
63,740
59,598
4,142
+6.9%
NISSAN ALTIMA
59,483
49,658
9,825
+19.8%
HONDA CIVIC
53,627
50,530
3,097
+6.1%
Trucks
FORD F-SERIES
103,039
81,579
21,460
+26.3%
CHEVROLET SILVERADO
72,480
67,283
5,197
+7.7%
FORD ESCAPE
45,091
31,030
14,061
+45.3%
TOYOTA RAV4
40,474
28,331
12,143
+42.9%
RAM PICKUP
38,042
46,619
-8,577
-18.4%
 
The above data is provided by JATO Consult, the company’s bespoke consulting service which offers customers access to its unique data and provides solutions and advice to meet a wide range of automotive business challenges. For more information visit www.jato.com, or email consult@jato.com.

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