Calling Saab the most improved automaker in America over the first eight months of 2011 was appropriate. However, Saab didn’t need to do very much to improve.
And despite this morning’s post which, by way of Saab’s 181.4% year-over-year jump, called the Swedish niche automaker America’s most improved automaker, the crown could just as easily be worn by Ford. And so it shall be.
U.S. Blue Oval sales are up “just” 18.3% this year, but because Ford is such a large manufacturer of cars and trucks, that translates to 211,067 extra units compared with the first eight months of 2010. Those gains mean Ford out-performed Chevrolet by 57,518 sales in the first two-thirds of 2011. Kia and Jeep posted far greater percentage improvements, but even when combined, the Korean automaker and American SUV-maker only found 183,128 extra sales this year, still some way behind Ford.
Kia did join parent company Hyundai to topple Ford, however, in terms of corporate volume increases. The only problem there was GM’s intervention. General Motors pulled in 232,696 more sales between January and August of this year than they did last year. All four GM brands did their part; even Cadillac has found more than 8000 more buyers this year than last.
The bad news mostly revolves around Japanese automobile manufacturers. No surprises there, given the manner in which Japan’s March 11 earthquake severely impacted the nation. Toyota’s 7.1% drop was enough to rank the brand 33rd in the earlier post, but in this version, Toyota’s 70,341-unit decline was worse than Mercury’s 64,625-unit drop; nearly twice as bad as Honda’s suffering, too.
What have we learned? Saab is (isn’t?) America’s most improved automaker in 2011. Ford, yes Ford, is America’s most improved automaker in 2011.