There’s a 2010 Year End edition of this post to get to, so we won’t ramble long. Ford was victorious in December. Toyota remained in a podium position despite falling sales. Lexus was the best-selling luxury brand, also in spite of sales which fell from December 2009 totals. No brand posted a better year-over-year percentage increase than Chrysler’s Ram division with sales up from 12,978 last December to 24,270 last month. Declining sales have become a hallmark for Daimler’s smart brand, December was no different from the norm. Sales dropped 34% as smart came in at #35 on this list of U.S. Auto Sales By Brand for December 2010.
A very small part of Korea’s increases can be accounted for by the 2011 Hyundai Equus. Hyundai sold 196 of their big luxury sedans in December 2010, a small total to be sure but one that shouldn’t be mocked in light of Hyundai’s stature in America just a decade ago. Combined Genesis sedan and coupe sales were up 3% in December. Meanwhile, the 2011 Kia Optima is only starting to gain traction in the marketplace. Sales of the 2011 model were actually down compared with last year’s figures. However, the new Optima was still competing with the cut-price 2010 Optima for sales. Together, sales were up 57%.
Both Korean brands were among the ten best-selling auto brands in America in December. There were three Japanese brands, no European brands, and five Detroit-based companies.