Japanese automakers set U.S. sales records
NEW YORK (Kyodo) U.S. sales at Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. rose to record highs for 2005, while their American rivals continued to struggle due to poor performances of their sport utility vehicles, according to a research firm.
The U.S. market share of all Japanese carmakers rose to 32.2 percent, up 1.8 percentage points from 2004, as consumers apparently chose fuel-efficient vehicles in the face of high gasoline prices, Autodata Corp. said Wednesday.
Toyota Motor Corp., which is threatening to overtake General Motors Corp. as the world's largest carmaker by output, saw sales advance 9.7 percent from the previous year to 2.26 million units, lagging behind DaimlerChrysler Corp. by only about 40,000 units.
It is expected that Japan's largest carmaker will overtake the American arm of DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany in U.S. sales this year.
Honda Motor Co.'s sales rose 4.9 percent to 1.46 million units, marking a fresh record high for the ninth consecutive year, while Nissan Motor Co. saw a 9.2 percent increase to 1.07 million units, the first time its U.S. sales topped 1 million.
Sales at GM and Ford Motor Co. dropped more than 4 percent each as they faced management difficulties with massive deficits. Some analysts point to the possibility that GM might file for Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.
GM's sales fell 4.4 percent to 4.41 million units, while Ford saw a 4.7 percent decline to 2.95 million units. DaimlerChrysler recorded a 4.5 percent rise to 2.30 million units.
The Big Three automakers have seen their market share fall by a total of about 13 percentage points over the last five years to around 57 percent.
GM and Ford have reintroduced discount programs in an effort to boost sales, a move that analysts think could backfire and cause further profit declines.
Overall, new vehicle sales in the U.S. market for 2005 rose 0.50 percent to 16.99 million units for the second straight year of increase.
Among the other Japanese carmakers, Mazda Motor Corp.'s sales fell 2.1 percent to 258,000 units and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. posted a 23.3 percent decline to 124,000 units.
Japan sales fall 0.9%
Domestic sales of new motor vehicles with engines 660cc and larger fell 0.9 percent in 2005 as sales dropped for the sixth straight month in December, an industry body said Thursday.
New vehicle sales in 2005 totaled 3,928,351 units, with cars falling 1.0 percent to 3,361,341, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.
Sales of cars with engine displacements of over 2,000cc fell 6.4 percent to 1,271,305, but sales of small cars with engines from 600cc to 2,000cc rose 2.6 percent to 2,090,036.
Truck sales rose 0.2 percent last year to 549,256, while bus sales fell 2.2 percent to 17,754.
In December, new vehicle sales fell 9.7 percent from the year before to 273,834. While car sales plunged 12.0 percent to 231,261, truck sales rose 5.3 percent to 41,408 and bus sales jumped 13.0 percent to 1,165.
I'm gonna help em.
I'm buying a Toyota Prius this year.
I'm due for a new Tacoma soon.
When even basic transportation costs as much as a house, it should be as reliable as a hammer.
Every time I go to buy a vehicle I check the US makers reliability/quality/longevity ratings. Every time they fall way short of the foreign automakers. You would think they'd take a page from the Chinese playbook, and buy a Toyota to tear apart and learn from it, but if they did it doesn't show in the product.
It isn't rocket science why they're going under.