Counting Cars

December Sales Thread: Automakers Deliver 15.53 MLN LVs in 2013


A 4% increase in December DSR brought 2013 LV sales to 15.53 million units, up 7.5% from 2012.

December 2013 Light Vehicle Sales Volume:
WardsAuto forecast LV Sales:   1.41 million units
Actual December LV sales:      1.35 million units
Full-Year 2013 LV sales: 15.53 million units

November 2013 Light Vehicle SAAR:
WardsAuto forecast LV SAAR:  15.9 million
Current projected SAAR:          15.5 million

WardsAuto tracks light vehicle (LV) sales throughout each sales reporting day. Monthly year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR). December had 25 selling days this year and 26 selling days in 2012. November had 26 selling days.

FINAL: An expected post-Christmas surge in LV sales failed to materialize, as U.S. automakers reported 1.35 million monthly sales - an increase in daily sales of 4%. December devliveries equated to a 15.3 million-unit SAAR for the month.

December's sales brought full year 2013 LV deliveries to 15.53 million units - up 7.5% over 2012's 14.44 million.

2:55 PM: Kia reported December daily sales dropped 10.7% from same-month 2012. The 33,631 deliveries fell well short of expectations, and brought the South Korean brand's 2013 total 535,179 - 4% below year-ago. Kia was the largest active brand to show a year-over-year decline in sales, along with VW and Volvo.

2:30 PM: European automakers deliveries 1.45 million LVs in the U.S. in 2013, up 4.6% from prior-year. Combined, the brands accounted for 9.7% of all sales, compared to 10% in 2012.

2:05 PM: Honda reports daily sales rose 5.9% in December, compared with same-month 2012. The automaker sold 1.53 million vehicles in 2013, a 7.2% improvement over year-ago - the second-lowest yr/yr gain among Top 7 automakers in the U.S., only ahead of Hyundai

Mazda daily sales fell 12.4% in December, as the smaller automaker finished the year with just under 284,000 deliveries - 2.5% over prior year.

BMW finished 2013 as the No. 2 European automaker in the U.S. with total sales of 375,782 LVs across its BMW and Mini brands - an 8.1% gain on 2012's results.

12:15 PM: Daimler had a strong December - daily sales were up 21.6% - as the German autoamker finished 2013 with just below 344,000 LV deliveries, up 12.6% over the prior year. Porsche's DSR rose 14.4% in Decemeber. The company's 65,877 units sold over the past 12 months represented a 20.8% annual increase.

Mitsubishi daily sales skyrocketed 62.4% in December, on 6,423 deliveries. The automaker finished 2013 up 7.7%, with a total of 62,227 deliveries.

11:45 AM: Subaru had its best year ever in the U.S., delivering nearly 425,000 LVs, outselling VW for the first time since 2010, and leading all major-volume automakers in year-over-year growth with 26.2% uptick from 2012. However, as with most other sellers, Subaru's December sales underperformed their year/year performance, with daily sales for the month rising a relatively low 14%.

11 AM: Jaguar Land Rover delivered 6,223 LVs in December, up 4% over year-ago, but finished 2013 with nearly 66,000 deliveries, an 18.3% jump from 2012.  Audi pushed its December DSR 19.2% over like year-ago, while selling 158,061 vehicles over the full year - a 13.5% year-to-year gain.

Nissan reported December daily sales rose 15% to just under 110,000 LVs. The automaker sold 1.25 million cars and light trucks in 2013 - up 9.5% from the prior year.

10:30 AM: Hyundai, exceeded expectations in December, with a 10.2% jump in daily sales, and finished the year with a best-ever 720,000 deliveries, but the 2.5% gain over full-year 2012's volume was still viewed by many as a disappointment.

European volume-leader Volkswagen, meanwhile, reported its second-best December since 1972. However, the best December in that period was in 2012. VW's daily sales fell 19.4% compared with same-month prior-year, bringing total 2013 deliveries to 407,794 - 6.9% below 2012.

10:00 AM:

Ford reported 218,058 LV sales, up 8.4% over year-ago, lifting the automaker's full-year tally to 2.44 million LV deliveries, for a Detroit 3-leading 10.7% improvement over prior year.

Chrysler sold just shy of 160,000 LVs in December, besting same-month year-ago DSR by 9.9%. Chrysler delivered 1.79 million cars and light trucks in 2013, a 9.0% jump in annual sales.

General Motors fell significantly below expectations in December, with daily sales dropping 2.6% compared with year-ago, on just over 230,000 deliveries. GM's 2013 light vehicle sales finished 7.3% above prior year, at 2.79 million.

Collectively, the Detroit 3 automakers sold 7.02 million LVs in 2013, an 8.9% gain over 2012.

Toyota reported December sales up just 2.2% over year-ago, giving the Japanese automaker 2.24 million deliveries in 2013 - a 7.4% increase in annual sales.

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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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