2012 was a year of recovery for the U.S. auto industry. Sales reached a post-recession high 14.4 million units, the best performance in 5 years and up 13% over 2011. At the same time Japanese manufacturers, reeling a year ago with post-tsunami inventory shortages came storming back to post 20%+ sales gains in 2012. Lastly, GM and Chrysler began to shed their bankruptcy status, with Chrysler especially posting solid sales gains on the success of multiple new products.
Chrysler may have been last on Compete’s top ten list of Automotive Manufacturers in December, but their sales were up 21% Y-O-Y. This improvement brought the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Fiat back to an 11.2% U.S. market share, which is their first year back at pre-bankruptcy levels. Will their momentum continue in 2013? Chrysler is off to a great start with their hugely successful Super Bowl commercials.
For the full analysis of the key storylines that drove industry performance in 2012 along with predictions for 2013, download Compete’s free report U.S. Auto Industry: 2012 in Review.
Tom Lucido is the Director of Client Services at Millward Brown Digital. He is a graduate of the MA program at Wayne State University in Industrial Organizational Psychology. Connect with Tom on LinkedIn