By on January 4, 2011

It’s looking like 2010 will end with the auto industry selling 11.5m units in the United States, as the SAAR over the last quarter of the year rose to about 12.4m units. We’ll update our table of December sales results as they become available, and in the meantime we’re preparing some year-end reporting of sales by automaker in the year that was. Stay tuned…

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39 Comments on “December Sales: 2010 Ends With Steady Growth...”

  • avatar

    With a lot of numbers not reported at this hour, it looks like Chrysler finally broke a 100K in snowy December.
    No telling what percentage are 011 refurbs versus left overs from 010.

  • avatar

    Had no idea Chrysler still sold about half as many cars as Ford and GM. Then again, 2m for each of the latter is weak.

  • avatar

    How many cars did Porsche sell in the US during the early-mid ’80s? Sales crashed due to currency issues and Japanese competition in the late ’80s, but didn’t they sell as many sports cars when times were good as they sell brand managed SUVs and comedically ugly sedans now?

  • avatar

    Another month with GM lagging the industry.  Ford is up nicely because of quality.  Chrysler is up nicely because of (finally) new and appealing products and flushing of end of run 2010s (mostly minivans).  Both are taking advantage of weaknesses by Toyota and Honda.  Where is GM in this.  IF I were the new boss, I would be getting concerned about all the money spent on new vehicles and engines that is not translating into the sales bump that we should be seeing.

    Oldandslow:  The big volume at Chrysler in December is closeout 2010 minivans.  The other outgoing models saw 60-70% declines from last December.  The new Grand Cherokee tripled last December’s sales.  The other new launches are not out in any volume yet.  The next few months should see some pretty dramatic increases from Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar

      Let’s look at the numbers a bit closer and I think you’ll have your answer.

      Last year GM sold 2.085m vehicles including the “dead” brands of Hummer, Pontiac, Saab, and Saturn.  Those brands accounted for 269k in sales during 2009.  Fast forward to 2010, and GM sold 2.212m vehicles without the “dead” brands.  So, although they saw an overall increase of around 7% year over year in total volume, if you remove the dead brands from 2009 you get an increase of 21% year over year for the still active lines.  So, to me it looks like GM more than made up for dropping the 4 divisions, something noone on this site would have ever expected!  BTW, I pulled the numbers directly from the GM Sales and Production pdf file.

      On another topic, is this the first time the Camaro has ever outsold the Mustang in a calander year?? (81,299 vs. 73,716)

    • 0 avatar

      @racebeer: IIRC Camaro used to outsell Mustang from the mid ’70s and up until the mid ’80s.

    • 0 avatar

      racebeer – But remember that GM used total numbers (including dead brands) to prop up their figures during 2009, or else their 2009 performance would have looked terrible.  I do not deny that the remaining brands have seen very nice improvement.  But I have to believe that most who bought Pontiacs in the 2000s are more than likely to come to one of the remaining GM brands for the next car or truck.  GM still needs to grow beyond this ever-shrinking base of customers. And with the implosion at Toyota (and, to a lesser degree, Honda) GM should have done better than it is doing.

    • 0 avatar

      And if you think that means you’ll be seeing more new GM cars around, imagine how the dealers feel:

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks geozinger …. you got me thinking, so I found the sales numbers from 1964 to 2001:

      Year: Mustang/Camaro
      64: 121,583/NA
      65: 559,451/NA
      66: 607,568/NA
      67: 474,121/ 220,906
      68: 317,404/ 235,147
      68: 299,824/ 243,065
      69: 299,824/ 243,065
      70: 190,727/ 124,901
      71: 149,678/ 114,630
      72: 125,093/ 114,630 (not a typo!)
      73: 134,867/ 96,751
      74: 385,993/ 151,008
      75: 188,575/ 145,770
      76: 187,567/ 182,959
      77: 153,173/ 218,858
      78: 192,410/ 272,631
      79: 369,936/ 282,571
      80: 271,322/ 152,005
      81: 181,552/ 126,139
      82: 130,418/ 189,747
      83: 120,873/ 154,318
      84: 135,678/ 261,591
      85: 156,514/ 180,018
      86: 224,410/ 192,219
      87: 159,145/ 137,760
      88: 211,225/ 96,275
      89: 209,769/ 110,850
      90: 128,189/ 35,048
      91: 98,737/ 101,316
      92: 79,280/ 70,712
      93: 114,228/ 39,755
      94: 123,198/ 119,934
      95: 185,986/ 122,844
      96: 126,483/ 66,827
      97: 100,254/ 95,812
      98: 170,642/ 77,198
      99: 126,067/ 42,098
      00: 218,525/ 45,417
      01: 155,162/ 29,009

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      “GM lagging the industry?”

      An overall 7% gain for the industry’s biggest seller is a big gain. That 130k sales gain is more than a lot of other groups sold full-year total (Mitsu, ‘Zuki, & Volvo *combined*).

      Looking at the details, GM is doing *fantastic*. Their high-margin brands (Caddy, Buick, GMC) *all* had tremendous growth. GM sold less low-margin fleet than before. GM’s profitability and future resale / lease values are greatly improved. And going forward, GM has fewer brands & product lines to manage, so can spend more on each one.

      GM is doing just fine. If they can merely continue what they’re doing, they’ll easily be the most profitable major OEM in the industry.

    • 0 avatar

      Racebeer: nice chart, thanks. It’s obvious that the battle is following the established pattern again. Ford introduces a new generation and it fades with GM getting stronger as the years go by. Then it starts again. I’m not sure when the new gen Mustang is scheduled to appear but I’m sure the pattern will be the exact same.

  • avatar

    Before the usual Hyundai question is asked:

    Full year retail sales were up 35 percent. Fleet sales mix for the month of December was 7 percent, with fleet mix for the year at 16 percent.


    Krafcik said:
    “While we grew total volume 24 percent, retail volume through our 800-strong dealer network climbed 35 percent, or 115,786 units, with 90,349 of that retail gain coming from the game-changing 2011 Sonata.”

  • avatar

    Whoa, hang on people, let’s put the sweeping conclusions aside until Isuzu reports…

  • avatar

    Cole quote:  “US Auto Sales Still At Depression Level”.



    There you have it.  29% + 9% = 38% of Ford sales are not retail. 

    From the Toyota sales call:


    And, the car story of the day, but missed by TTAC, is Consumer Reports pulls recommendation for Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX.  Sounds like a real problem.  Ford technology distracts driver for more than 2 seconds and that is dangerous. 

    But, I am not claiming bias by TTAC.  It did an accurate job on Toyota SUA.

    • 0 avatar

      Easy tiger… we have lots of year-end sales reports still to come. I am but one person…

    • 0 avatar

      Your math is wrong on Ford. 29-9=20%. Rental car companies are counted as fleet customers.

      Still a rather uninspiring figure.

    • 0 avatar

      Wow jj, you really are turning into the new Z71_Silvy. Not a compliment.
      I think the 9% rental sales are included in the 29% total fleet number (9% rental 20% other), but fudge the numbers however you like.
      I know you had a Ford that needed some repairs and that’s caused you some frustration, but seriously why are you SO hung up on Ford vs. Toyota? All the complaints you have about Ford could just as easily be thrown at GM or Chrysler. Toyota’s certainly not flawless either; they’re just a company like any other.
      The Edge test result is disappointing, but CR themselves said it was the MyFord Touch controls that stopped it getting a recommended rating. Get the Edge SE with regular controls and you’ll have an Edge that’s probably good enough for the holy Consumer Reports. And far be it for me to mention that for every weak performer like the Edge, there are several Fords that rate well in CR’s tests like the Fusion and Flex.

    • 0 avatar

      SV, actually 3 recent Ford purchases have been a disaster for me.  Not to mention, one put my young daughter at risk.  Do I have an ax to grind?  You bet. Once, I was a loyal Ford buyer, as were others in my family. I had enough.

      SV, imagine. A few Edge accidents, because of a difficult time trying to adjust some function on the screen, and the lawyers will be all over this. But, I bet NHTSA will never say recall because of the hazard.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s unfortunate for you, and I’d understand if you avoided Fords in the future, but do you really have to go on an internet crusade and troll car blogs with anti-Ford spiel? Surely you have better ways to spend your time.
      Ford’s reliance on fleet sales doesn’t have any connection at all with safety or reliability issues. Taking Ford to task at EVERY opportunity for EVERYTHING you conceive they’ve done wrong when the actual source of your ire is much more narrowly focused clearly indicates irrational biases on your part. Nobody would blame you if you never bought a Ford again, but spamming the comments section of TTAC with biased, ill-informed “Ford sucks, buy Toyota” rants is totally unnecessary.
      I don’t think I speak for myself when I say it’s really more annoying than anything else, and takes away from the otherwise well-balanced comment base on this site.
      What were the Fords in question that gave you problems? Are they in production anymore or are they older models?

    • 0 avatar

      @ sv……Well said!

    • 0 avatar

      SV, sorry you Detroit types can’t control the message being fed to the masses.  The internet is a wonderful thing.

    • 0 avatar

      “The internet is a wonderful thing.”

      …for allowing mice to imagine their voices carry a lion’s roar.

    • 0 avatar

      Nothing speaks louder than the truth.

    • 0 avatar

      Consumer Reports’ understanding of how the MyFord Touch system works is off base.  There are still dedicated controls for a number of the things that they mention, not to mention the steering wheel based controls that don’t require the driver to take his or her eyes off of the road at all, or the voice controls that allow the driver to change the settings with a single button push and command.  The system isn’t dangerous, and is in fact allows the driver to focus more attention on the road ahead, as long as you know how to use it.  I can understand that the CR crew, used to reviewing washing machines and microwaves, might not have taken the half an hour needed to really verse themselves in how the system works before passing judgement, but for them to spout misinformation about the system based on their own laziness and unwillingness to learn how to use it is coming very close to libel.
      Regarding the fleet sales numbers – I’ve already explained to you why your interpretation is wrong countless times before, but aside from your misreading of the fleet numbers (namely the 9% already being a part of the 29%) I will say it again – fleet sales in general are not bad, Ford has a number of vehicles lines that are designed for fleet use primarily, and these fleet sales are profitable and not in any way damaging to the brand.

    • 0 avatar

      Fleet sales are good where the vehicle is primarily designed to fit those needs thus the cost structure is based on fleet only sales – leaving used fleet cars that flood the market to not destroy a shared models’ retail resale value.
      Where fleet sales are bad is where platforms are sold to both sides (retail / fleet) and the fleet cars are highly discounted and not just b/c of its decontenting (think Impalas w/o SABs) but to keep a factory running b/c the OEM has no other alternative except shut down yet still pay the union almost full wages and benefits (that belabors a company’s global competitiveness).  This is where it doesn’t work out b/c then on the retail side b/c the retail resale value is so bad – the OEM must give $3-$10k in rebates off MSRP just to move the vehicles to retail customers still leading to >50% drop in resale value in 2-3 years time.  That is abysmal.

    • 0 avatar

      jj99: SV, sorry you Detroit types can’t control the message being fed to the masses.  The internet is a wonderful thing.

      I actually drive a Mazda, for what it’s worth. I just happen to like Ford and find it irritating when I see people ignore logic and spew senseless vitriol concerning subjects about which they clearly know very little. I actually find it mildly offensive the way you condescendingly refer to the tripe you crap out of your mouth as “the truth”.

    • 0 avatar

      sv and jj99: If you can’t keep debate substantive and courteous, you will be banned. More pissing matches means I have to spend more time moderating and less time writing content… please don’t ruin TTAC for others (myself included… I would much rather write than play babysitter).

    • 0 avatar

      I apologize, I went a bit over the top there.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Nothing personal, Ed….but I like it when Bertel does the sales info at the beginning of the month.  His photo choices show…..flair.

  • avatar

    I love you jj99 because your math illiterate.  The 9% of sales going to rental fleets is Part of the 29% in total fleet sales.  Basically, 20% went to corporate and government sales and 9% to rental fleets not 29 + 9.  Ford is going to have higher fleet sales then Toyota because Joe blow consumer doesn’t buy Transit Connects, E Series Vans, F2,3,4,5,6,750 Trucks.  What vans and business trucks does Toyota sell?  Nothing.

  • avatar

    FYI, according to today’s GM sales press release, Saab sold 868 vehicles in the US in December 2009 and 8,680 vehicles for all of 2009.

  • avatar

    The top two sellers for 2010 are Ford and GM trucks
    Ford F-Series 528,349 27.7 percent
    Chevrolet Silverado 370,135 16.9 percent
    Toyota Camry 327,804 -8.1 percent
    Honda Accord 282,530 -1.7 percent
    Toyota Corolla 266,082 -10.4 percent
    Honda Civic 260,218 0.2 percent
    Nissan Altima 229,263 12.6 percent
    Ford Fusion 219,219 21.3 percent
    Honda CR-V 203,714 6.5 percent
    Dodge Ram 199,652 12.6 percent

  • avatar

    What’s the deal with Suzuki being up 40% for December but down 38% for the year? I am a regular visitor to this site and don’t recall any mention of any possible cause for this.

  • avatar

    I wonder if Nissan is pissed at Hyundai. I figure they’ll be losing that lead by March. Man, those Koreans are on a tear!

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