Automakers Hit Bonanza as U.S. Sales Soar in January

February 1, 2013 2:17 PM EST
January was a good month to be in the business of selling cars to Americans. After impressive performance in 2012, data today showed 2013 is off to a good start with solid performance from U.S. automakers General Motors (NYSE: GM), Ford (NYSE: F), and Chrysler, with even better results from top foreign car maker Toyota (NYSE: TM).

In January, GM sold 194,000 vehicles, topping 2012 sales by 15.9 percent. With 166,000 in sales, Ford wasn’t too far behind. Its sales increased 21.8 percent year-over-year. Chrysler sales rose 16.3 percent to 117,000, and Toyota January vehicle sales came in at 157,000, a rise of 26.6 percent.

While 2013 U.S. vehicle sales appear rosy, the same cannot be said for vehicle sales in Europe. U.S. sales are expected to balloon from 14.8 million units in 2012 to 15.5 million units in 2013. European sales, however, might be flat at 14 million units, or they may even decline slightly as Europe battles to pull itself out of recession.

In 2013, China sales are expected to eclipse total U.S. sales and are projected reach 20.5 billion units, although it might not mean much to U.S. automaker, Ford. It had roughly 3.2 percent market share in 2012. GM has significantly more exposure in China. However, it trailed Toyota in overall vehicle sales last year, with 9.29 million units sold versus 9.75 million for Toyota.

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