Counting Cars

2012 Sales Off and Running


Sales reporting day blog for January 2012. Company by company updates.

Ward's projected SAAR: 13.9 million units.
Current estimated SAAR: 14.11 million units

The U.S. LV SAAR crossed the the 14 million unit threshhold for the first time (excluding August 2009's Cash-for-Clunker inflated SAAR) since May 2008, as the U.S. auto industry continues to lead the nation's economic recovery.

Light vehicle sales for the month hit 910,617 units, up 11.5% over year-ago.

GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Company report combined January sales up 7.9% over year-ago. Both months had 24 selling days.

GM, as expected sold fewer vehicles than they did with a surprising incentive push in the first month of 2011, down 6.1% on volume sales of nearly 168,000 vehicles.

Ford improved by 7.9% over year-ago with sales of 134,291 units, but Chrysler continues to outpace the industry on the growth front, with January sales up 44% over like 2011, on volume sales of 100,612.

Toyota sales were up 7.5% for the month on sales of 124,540 units. That's the best year-over-year result for Toyota since the March tsunami and earthquake in Japan took out the company's inventory. Nissan outperformed the current overall industry gain of 9.5%, with deliveries tracking 10.4% over year-ago.

Mazda registered a 68.2% increase in sales over year-ago, with Mazda2 (+5325) and Mazda3 (83.4%) sales providing the bulk of the volume increase.

Subaru sales were up over year ago for the second consecutive month, after an inventory-depletion related seven-month stretch of year-to-year declines. The company sold 22,807 vehicles in January, a 21% gain over like-2011.

Kia sales were up 27.8% over year-ago with daily sales of 1,480 roughly in line with the company's six-month average of 1,539 - which appears to be a rough cap on DSR determined by the company's overall supply.

European automakers are reporting an excellent January so far. Volkswagen brand sales were up 47.9% over year-ago, with Audi reporting a sales increase of nearly 20%. Jaguar Land Rover sales were up nearly 31% on unit sales of 4,190, while Porsche sales climbed 6.3%.

BMW, which pushed hard in December to grab the number one luxury-marque title for 2011, saw sales climb a relatively low 5.8% for its combined BMW and Mini brands. Daimler, which came in second to BMW for annual bragging rights, improved its January sales 23.3% over year-ago.

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What's Counting Cars?

Blogs and commentary about automotive data, industry trends, and the future of the auto industry.


John Sousanis

John Sousanis oversees WardsAuto data operations as Director of Information Content, and is Ward’sAuto sales analyst. Follow John on Twitter @CountingCars.  

Haig Stoddard

Haig Stoddard is a veteran automotive industry analyst. His current focus is North America production and longterm sales forecasting.
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