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The US new vehicle market rose to 14.5 million units in 2012 on the back of rising demand for mid-sized and small cars in a nation famous for its ‘bigger is better’ buying philosophy.

The 2012 result – which saw 14,492,398 passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles sold across the country – was the strongest since 2007 before the market was rocked by the global financial crisis.

Sales increased 13.4 per cent from 2011, the third straight year of double-digit growth, which US industry journal Automotive News reports is the first such streak since the early 1970s.

General Motors ended the year with 2,595,717 sales – up 3.7 per cent – giving it a 20.3 per cent share of the total new vehicle market.

Fellow Detroit-based rival Ford Motor Company finished a close second with 2,243,009 sales, an increase of 4.7 per cent over 2011.

Toyota Motor Corporation rebounded fiercely from a natural disaster-affected 2011. Sales soared 26.6 per cent to 2,082,504, boosted by strong sales of the new Camry (top), which strengthened its position as the country’s top-selling passenger car as sales jumped by about one-third.

The Camry was one of five small or medium cars inside the top eight, with each of the Honda Accord and Civic, Nissan Altima and Toyota Corolla also enjoying double-digit percentage growth in 2012.

The US has not lost its passion for traditional pick-up trucks, however, with the Ford F-Series (above) and the Chevrolet Silverado once again the most popular new vehicles in 2012. F-Series sales rose 10.3 per cent to 645,316, while the Silverado inched ahead 0.8 per cent to 418,312. Together with their Chrysler-owned Ram Trucks rival, the trio combined for 1.36 million sales last year.

Chrysler also enjoyed a strong 2012, with sales jumping 20.6 per cent to 1,651,787. Other solid improvers included Honda (1,422,785 sales, up 24.0 per cent), Hyundai Group (1,260,606 sales, 11.4 per cent), Nissan (1,141,656, up 9.5 per cent) and Volkswagen Group (615,281 sales, up 30.0 per cent).

BMW was the leading luxury brand with 37,399 sales, leading Lexus (30,607), Mercedes-Benz (30,376), Cadillac (18,248), Audi (14,841) and Infiniti (12,627).

There’s no sign of the US market slowing in 2013 either. The seasonally adjusted annual rate currently sits at 15.38 million sales for the coming 12 months, although some analysts have predicted the market could grow as high as 15.6 million units.


Best-selling vehicles in the US – 2012

  1. Ford F-Series – 645,316 (+10.3 per cent)
  2. Chevrolet Silverado – 418,312 (+0.8 per cent)
  3. Toyota Camry – 404,886 (+31.2 per cent)
  4. Honda Accord – 331,872 (+40.8 per cent)
  5. Honda Civic – 317,909 (+43.7 per cent)
  6. Nissan Altima – 302,934 (+12.6 per cent)
  7. Ram Trucks – 293,363 (+19.9 per cent)
  8. Toyota Corolla – 290,947 (+21.1 per cent)
  9. Honda CR-V – 281,652 (+29.0 per cent)
  10. Ford Escape – 261,008 (+2.6 per cent)

  • Asdfgh

    I want a truck.

  • F1orce

    Uhmm Acura sold 156,216

    Outselling Cadillac

    • F1orce

      And also outselling Audi

    • Sdfg

       Why single out those two? If your number are correct, that means they also smashed your beloved Lexus in sales too.

    • Asdfgh

      Proton out sold Mitsubishi in some markets.

      • Zaccy16

        Which markets? Malaysia?

  • Vti07

    Does the Honda sales figures include Acura sales?

    Also, Honda could only dream of doing so well in Australia. Maybe they should bring in some of the US / Canada models here.

    • Dfgf

      The models that are bringing in the numbers in the USA are the same ones we get in Australia: Civic, Accord (though they’ve just got a new Accord) and CRV.

      • Gunxing

        Yeah same nameplate..

        But the U.S. market Honda’s are quite different.

    • Wong

      Amazing how some people speak without fact or thinking. Except for a few models like the Odyssey, Honda has the same lineup here as rest of world. Also makes you wonder why we have such a fixation with Mazdas compared to the rest of the world.

      • Vti07

        What we do get in Australia is a range which is arguably inferior (and poorly specified in some instances) to the US range.

        We need the cars such as:1) Accord, Civic coupes 2) 2.4l K24 versions of Civic. 3) 3.5L v6 versions of the Accord Euro (sold over there as an Acura TSX) 4) Pilot 5) ridgeline etc etc. Also, where is the Accord Euro tourer that even NZ gets. Whilst we’re at it, countries like HK get the Stream which we do not get. Also, in the cases like the UK Civic hatch, Honda Australia have decided to import the lower specified models from the range.

        OK, the civic hatch 1.6 diesel coming soon may bring more buyers back to Honda.
        I understand that Australia has a smaller population and market than the US, but if Hyundai and Mazda can sell a variety of interesting models here, so can Honda.

    • Asdfgh

      If Honda Aus want to do well, they have to exceed or at least match Toyota’s 0% – 2.9% finance for loans up to 4 – 5 years, $130 service (not Honda’s $550 service) and Camry auto $26.5k driveaway, Aurion auto $30k driveaway. If ur getting a base Honda Euro auto, it’s $32k, 14% finance and $550 service and it needs PULP. With the package from the Camry (or Aurion) compared to the Accord Euro, after 5yrs you will save at least $15k – $20k, that’s enough money to trade in for another new car.

      If Honda executives drawing management $alaries and can’t see that and they blab about increasing their sales, they got their heads in the sand. Even some high school kids know.

  • Zaccy16

    very interesting, i do think that a cadillac is very ‘premium’ at all

    • Golfmother

      Yep just a tarted up chevy , maybe the bogan boys can import Caddy badges for their clunkerdores , make them feel superior ferals .

      • Legnab

        I’d also like to make a moronic comment, durhhh, bogan, crummer, durhh, falcon, durhh

      • DoubleBlue

         LOL.! Exactly G-mother well put.!

  • Andrew M

    I love that F truck, Its a pity that it would be worth 150K to get here and converted.

    I reckon they should do a Ranger F series where they offer a special edition blinged up with chrome and side steps etc to resemble the F series.

    After all Australia is slowly catching the American disease. People try and say our market is downsizing, but with the “pick ups” on sale here getting much bigger with every generation, and the ever increasing amount of people buying them as family cars I disagree