US car sales rise 13.4% to hit five-year high

Toyota dealership Japanese carmakers have staged a recovery after the earthquake and tsunami disrupted supply chains in 2011

US car sales rose 13.4% in 2012, making it the best year for the industry since 2007, industry figures have shown.

General Motors sold the most number of cars and light trucks, 2.5 million for the year. Total sales across the industry came in at 14.5 million.

Japanese car companies recovered from supply chain disruption in 2011 taking more market share.

Higher US sales in 2012 were driven by the recovering economy and increased availability of credit.

Volkswagen saw the biggest jump in sales, an increase of 35%. Toyota Motor sales rose 27% while Honda posted a 24% increase.

2013 forecasts

Analysts looking ahead to this year forecast further gains in the industry.

Carmakers were also predicting increased sales, with Ford saying overall industry sales would rise to between 15 and 16 million vehicles in the US.

General Motors (GM) predicted more modest sales of 15 to 15.5 million in the year to come.

"GM's strong finish in 2012, the industry's momentum and the overall health of the US economy make us optimistic about 2013," said sales chief at GM Kurt McNeil.

Sales at GM rose by 3.7% in 2012. However, that level of growth meant GM lost market share which fell to 17.9% compared to 19.6% in 2011.

In contrast, Toyota and Honda saw market share climb sharply from last year when they suffered major supply chain disruptions after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Toyota said 2012 sales reached nearly 2.1 million and its market share rose 1.5 percentage points to 14.4%.

"As we move into 2013 and the market sees continued growth, we expect to outperform the industry once again with another nine product launches on the horizon," said Jim Lentz, chief of Toyota Motor Sales in the US.

More on This Story

More Business stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage


  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world


  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop


  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Woman standingMysterious miracle

    It's extremely unusual and shouldn't give false hope, but what makes the body beat cancer on its own?

Programmes

  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach - why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.