Counting Cars

(FINAL) December 2014 Sales Thread: U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Rise to Eight-Year High


U.S. automakers delivered 16.435 million light vehicles in 2014, a 5.8% improvement over prior year and the industry's highest sales tally since 2006.

December 2014 Light Vehicle Sales Volume:
WardsAuto forecast LV Sales:           1.509 million units
Actual December LV Sales:              1.498 million units

Differential: 0.76%.

December Light Vehicle SAAR:

Forecast LV SAAR:                  16.95 million
Actual December LV SAAR:     16.8   million

WardsAuto tracks light-vehicle (LV) deliveries throughout sales reporting day. Monthly year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR). December had 26 selling days this year and 25 in 2013, meaning DSR % change will be smaller than year-over-year comparisons of total sales volumes.

Overview: (See companies results below.)

Automakers sold just under 1.5 million light vehicles in December, a 6.4% increase in daily sales compared with same-month year-ago. December deliveries brought full-year sales to 16.435 million LVs, a 5.8% improvement over 2013, that made 2014 the industry's best year since 2006.

Related Content

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Summary table

UPDATE 3:00 PM Hyundai delivered 64,507 LVs last month, recording its best December ever, capping the company's record calendar year. Hyundai sold 725,718 light vehicles, up 0.7% over 2013.

Daimler reported 38,294 LV sales (including Mercedes, Sprinter, Smart and Mitsu-Fuso vehicles) in December, a 0.2% increase in DSR compared with like-2013. The automaker's 2014 total deliveries 366,860 represents 6.7% year-over-year gain.

UPDATE 1:35 PM: BMW Group recorded its best daily sales for a month ever, delivering 48,141BMW and Mini brand-vehicles in December, a 9.5% DSR bump over year-ago. The automaker's 395,850 deliveries in 2014 were up 5.3% from prior year.

Subaru daily sales rose 19.5% over year-ago in December, on 49,923 deliveries. The automaker sold nearly 514,000 LVs in 2014, a 21% improvement over 2013. Fellow Japanese auto company Mitsubishi saw its December DSR fall 2%, but nonetheless finished 2014 24.8% over 2013, on 77,643 LV sales.  

Kia reported the biggest year-over-year gain in December sales, delivering 45,587 LVs for a 30.3% DSR improvement. The automaker's December sales brought its full-year total to 580,234, up 8.4% over year-ago.

1:55 AM: Toyota reported 215,057 deliveries in December, a 12.7% DSR improvement over like 2013, as it outpaced Ford in light vehicle sales (current estimate) for the second consecutive month. Toyota finished 2014 in the No.3 sales spot, behind GM and Ford, with 2,373,771 calendary year LV sales, up 6.2% from 2013.  

UPDATE 10:45 AM: General Motors delivered 274,483 LVs in December, a 14.7% jump in DSR compared with like 2013. GM sold 2.935 million LVs in 2014, a year-over-year gain of 5.3%. While GM and Chrysler both enjoyed double-digits December increases, Ford daily sales were down 2.8% for the month, on 214,254 LV deliveries. Ford full-year 2014 light vehicles sales fell 0.7% shy of year-ago, on 2.418 million LV deliveries, compared with 2.435 million units in 2013. Nonetheless, Ford brand finished as the best-selling nameplate of 2014.

Collectively, the Detroit Three automaker DSR was up 8.7% in December, bringing the group's full-year sales to 7.43 million units, a 6% improvement over 2013. 

Nissan deliveries were up 2.8% in December, compared with a very strong year-ago result, and the Japanese automaker finished 2014 with nearly 1.39 million deliveries - an 11.1% jump in sales, that should leave Nissan as the sixth largest auto seller of the year, well ahead of South Korean rival Hyundai Group. 

Honda, meanwhile, had a somewhat disappointing December, with daily sales down 2.4% versus year-ago. The automaker's full-year 2014 sales were up just 1% over prior year, to 1.54 million units - good enough for the No.5 spot, but well behind No.4 FCA's 2.1 million sales.

UPDATE: 10 AM: FCA US sold over 191,000 Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Fiat and Alfa brand LVs in December, according to WardsAuto preliminary data - a 15.1% increase in DSR. It was the automaker's best December in a decade, and brought the FCA's full-year 2014 sales tally to 2.08 million units, a 16% increase over calendar year 2013.

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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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