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December Caps Strong 2012 Sales Year; Will Any Brands Go Out of Business in 2013? [With Chart]

By Jacob Brown | January 03, 2013
Fiscal cliff, schmishcal schmiff. There was a late sense of fear felt in the U.S. economy that capped what has been the best sales year in the auto industry since 2007. As cars and houses are the U.S.'s primary movers and shakers, there was an underlying sense that if credit markets were to tighten up again, so would car sales. There's a good chance we experienced some of that towards the end of December 2012 as we closed out the sales year. But, we didn't see much of it. Sure, some automakers like Suzuki folded up shop in November as the market kept strengthening, but most automakers had a highly successful year, some even setting all-time sales records like Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. General Motors regained some its ground despite losing sales with Cadillac; Hyundai and Kia soared; and most of the Japanese automakers picked up where they left off before 2011's tsunami wiped out their sales. Despite natural disasters and government fumbling, the auto market grew dramatically from 2011 as a whole. But players like Mitsubishi and Lincoln stand in the shadows, leaving more questions than answers for the upcoming model year. Both have new products coming, but will they be too little, too late? We'll see. In the meantime, below is how automakers in the U.S. fared, most quite well. It's a promising sight as we head into 2013 with a slew of new and important vehicles on the horizon.
Brand
Dec. 2012 
Dec. 2011 
Units Change
Adjusted
DSR %
2012 Sales   
2011 Sales   
% Change
2012 vs. 2011
Best-Selling
Model YTD
Acura  16,034  13,129  2,905  26.8  156,216  123,299  26.7  MDX
Audi  14,841  12,655  2,186  17.3  139,310  117,561  18.5  A4
BMW  37,399  26,834  10,565  39.4  281,460  247,907  13.5  3 Series
Buick  16,473  14,974  1,499  10.0  180,408  177,633  1.6  LaCrosse
Cadillac  18,248  16,259  1,989  12.2  149,782  152,389  (1.7)  SRX
Chevrolet  167,091  161,158  5,933  3.7  1,851,646  1,775,812  4.3  Silverado
Chrysler  25,513  23,974  1,539  6  307,967  221,346  39  200
Dodge  52,391  41,548  10,843  26  524,989  451,040  16  Caravan
Fiat  3,707  2,325  1,382  59  43,772  19,769  121  500
Ford  206,838  201,737  5,101  2.5  2,168,015  2,062,915  5.1  F-Series
General Motors  245,733  234,351  11,382  4.9  2,595,717  2,503,820  3.7  Silverado
GMC  43,921  41,960  1,961  4.7  413,881  397,986  4.0  Sierra
Honda  116,740  92,101  24,639  31.6  1,266,569  1,023,986  23.7  Accord
Hyundai  59,435  50,765  8,670  17.1  703,007  645,691  8.9  Sonata
Infiniti  12,627  10,990  1,637  14.9  119,877  98,461  21.8  G Sedan
Jaguar  1,049  1,137  (88)  (8)  12,011  12,276  (2)  XF
Jeep  39,871  43,577  (3,686)  (9)  474,131  419,349  13  Grand Cherokee
Kia  39,178  43,390  (4,212)  (9.7)  557,599  485,492  14.9  Optima
Land Rover  5,174  4,743  431  9  43,664  38,099  15  Range Rover Sport
Lexus  30,607  25,355  5,252  25.4  244,166  198,552  23.0  ES
Lincoln  7,384  8,403  (1,019)  (12.1)  82,150  85,643  (4.1)  MKZ
Mazda  27,251  22,353  4,898  26.6  277,046  250,426  10.6  Mazda3
Mercedes-Benz  28,145  25,701  2,444  9.5  305,072  264,460  15.4  C-Class
Mini  6,456  5,711  745  13.0  66,123  57,511  15.0  Cooper Hardtop
Mitsubishi  4,113  5,032  (919)  (18)  57,790  79,020  (26.9)  Outlander Sport
Nissan  86,663  89,937  (3,274)  (3.6)  1,021,779  944,073  8.2  Altima
Porsche  2,952  1,834  1,118  21  35,043  29,023  20.7  Cayenne
Ram  30,885  26,595  4,290  16  300,928  257,610  17  Ram Pickup
Smart  996  710  286  40.3  10,009  5,208  92.2  Fortwo
Subaru  36,653  33,701  2,952  8.8  336,441  266,989  26  Outback
Toyota  163,536  152,776  10,760  11.2  1,838,338  1,446,109  27.1  Camry
Volkswagen  44,005  32,502  11,503  35.4  438,133  324,402  35.1  Jetta
Volvo  6,150  5,342  808  15.1  68,117  67,240  1.5  S60
 
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