Over the last three years, car sales in the US market have set new all-time records and included a collection of manufacturers that extends well beyond the American classics. In 2015, vehicle sales in the US reached nearly 17.5 million units, a growth of 5.7 percent from 2014 and 25,000 more vehicles than the record setting sales in 2005.
- The year 2000 marked a turning point in the US auto industry: it was the last year that General Motors and Ford Motor Company combined made up at least 50 percent of the US market share. GM’s share of the US market has decreased almost 3 times since its peak of 50.7 percent in 1962, falling to 17 percent in 2016. Ford Motor Company’s market share has likewise fallen but relatively less, from a high of 29.3 percent in 1961 to 14.6 percent in 2016.
- Asian auto manufacturing giants Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have been behind most of the market erosion of traditional US manufacturers. Toyota was an early mover, capturing American hearts with Lexus, its luxury business model. In 1980, Toyota’s market share was a mere 6.6 percent; by 2009, it reached 16.7 percent. Then, entered Infiniti Nissan, which nearly tripled its market share from 2.8 in 1978 to 8.8 in 2016, somewhat at the expense of Toyota.
- It is interesting to note the stability of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which unlike the other American classics, has for 55 years maintained a market position in the range of 10.5 to 13.5 percent.
Last updated: Monday, 15 May 2017