America’s auto industry reported significant year-over-year improvements in 2010,
but it’s important to remember the place from which the industry was rising. 2009 was a tremendously awful year. Job losses were mounting, homes were being lost, and wars were still being waged. There was only one new vehicle sold for every thirty U.S. residents.
All was not well in 2010. But in comparison to 2009, the U.S. auto industry was looking like the worst was over. Indeed, sales rose 11% in 2010, 10% in 2011, and 13% in 2012. Through the first one-sixth of 2013, sales are up 4%.
But no, all was not well, particularly at Toyota, which was skipping from crisis to crisis. Lexus sales were up 6% in 2010, but Scion fell 21% and the Toyota brand dropped 0.5%, a slight drop, but one that was conspicuous as the industry was on its way to reinvigoration. The company’s two best-selling products, (plus the Venza, Yaris, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, and Tacoma) suffered sharp declines.
Elsewhere, BMW Group volume rose 10%, the Chrysler Group was up 16.5%, Daimler climbed 12.5%, the Ford brand posted a 22% improvement, GM and Honda both produced 7% gains, Hyundai-Kia was up 22%, Nissan was up 18%, and the VW Group (sans Porsche) jumped 21%.
Those year-over-year improvements are easily found in the exhaustive model listing below, where red font is noticeably absent at the top of the heap. Only three vehicles in the top 30 posted declines – all three were Toyotas.
Around 40% of the nameplates on offer sold less often in 2010 than in 2009, a number which may seem high given the significant overall market improvement. After all, 1.16 million more sales were added to the tally in 2010. But Ford sold 114,724 more F-Series trucks; GM an extra 71,543 Silverados and Sierras. Hyundai contributed more than 105,000 extra sales from the Sonata and Elantra, alone. With so much of the industry expansion coming from high-volume models, growth was obviously not experienced in all corners. In fact, 78% of the vehicles ranked below #200 – some of which were discontinued products – posted year-over-year declines. Compare that with just 13.6% of the vehicles in the top 81.
The table below is completely sortable. You can list vehicles alphabetically, by 2009 year end volume (something already done in the 2009 rankings), by year-over-year change, or in the original format by clicking the 2010 Rank column header at the far left. GoodCarBadCar always makes available historical monthly and yearly sales figures for all currently marketed vehicles. You can access those figures free of charge by selecting a make and model at the Sales Stats page. Monthly and yearly versions of this list can be found under the All Vehicle Rankings label at GCBC’s Best Sellers page.