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Throughout The Car Industry

2010 Begins With Positive Sales Numbers

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On: Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 11:28AM | By: John Welch

2010 Begins With Positive Sales Numbers

It appeared, at the beginning of the year, that 2009 would be the Harbinger of Doom for the American Car Industry. The last year of this decade saw GM burn through two CEOs, Toyota try to murder Americans via floormat, and Ford present itself as the most sensible car-maker on the planet . . . who saw that coming?!

Well, turn that 2009 frown upside down;, the sales results from December are in, and they kick ass! Ford, Toyota, Subaru, and Hyundai Group are all up 15% compared to December 2008, while GM brands Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac are all up 13%. The industry as whole is down 21%, but we will take positive news where we can get it. Venture inside the post for the hard numbers and statistics . . .

Ford, Toyota, and Subaru each pounded out serious gains in December. All three companies rose nearly a third in sales, and look to improve further in 2010. Hyundai-Kia clobbered everybody. The Korean firm is up a whopping 42% over last winter. Retail sales of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac brands were 13 percent higher than in 2008– achieved with 47 percent less inventory than last year.

Those are pretty strong numbers, unfortunately they come during the worst sales-year since 1982. Down 21%, Americans bought 10.43 million cars in 2009, the lowest total sales since 10.35 million in 1982. Not good. December was the third month this year with a year-over-year sales increase but perhaps the best signal yet that the U.S. auto industry is on the mend. August's 1 percent increase was fueled by the cash- for-clunkers government stimulus, and November's gain was an almost invisible 35 vehicles.

GM is still optimistic. “The fact that our retail market share has increased two full points from the third to fourth quarters demonstrates that we are strengthening our brands,” said Susan Docherty, GM vice president, U.S. Sales. “We are delivering a healthier sales mix and earning consumer confidence through our launch vehicles such as Chevy Equinox and Camaro, Buick LaCrosse, GMC Terrain, and Cadillac SRX.”

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