As the new year began, international automakers experienced mixed results in January's sales figures. While international nameplates maintained their share of the U.S. market - averaging a 1.5 percent improvement over January 2009 - some, such as Toyota, saw sales decline.
"January was a mixed bag for international brands," said AIADA president Cody Lusk. "On the whole, 2010 is off to a strong start. Dealers expect Toyota to recover quickly from this slowdown necessitated by its accelerator recalls, and are optimistic about 2010 sales across the board."
International Brands Maintain Market Share
According to numbers from Autodata Corp., international brands sold 383,250 vehicles during the month of January, down from December's sales of 558,680 and 414,848 units in November - accounting for 54.9 percent of the overall U.S. auto market. Asian nameplates maintained a 45.7 percent share of the market during the month, while European nameplates were up slightly from last month with 9.2 percent market share. Year-over-year, Asian nameplate sales were down by 1.8 percent from January 2009, while European nameplates were up by 22.5 percent.
Top Selling Vehicles
Five of the top 10 selling vehicles in January were international makes, consistent with December's sales figures. The Ford F Series pickup retained its spot atop the top-ten list. The Honda CR-V, which held the tenth spot for the month of December, slipped to number 15 in January. The Nissan Altima rejoined the top 10, moving into the fourth position for the month. The Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Honda Civic each demonstrated year-over-year improvements by an average of 16.7 percent.
Once again, Americans purchased more SUVs and Crossovers than any other segment - with 213,399 sold. The mid-size car segment registered in second place with 177,325 vehicles sold during January. Overall, Asian nameplates sold 202,257 cars and 116,731 trucks, while European nameplates sold 47,480 cars and 16,782 trucks.
Overall sales, including domestic brands and unadjusted for business days, were up 6.3 percent from January 2009. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for light vehicles now stands at 10.78 million, compared to 9.62 million units in January 2009 and 11.25 million units in December 2009.
Volvo and Volkswagen led the international brands with 41.9 and 41.4 increases from the same month last year. After its halt of production and sale of eight of its most popular models, Toyota saw a drop in sales of 18.8 percent from a year ago, and saw its sales drop below 100,000 for the first time since 1999. Its market share went from 15.6 percent in January 2009 to 11.9 percent last month.
See below for a complete breakdown of January 2010 monthly and year-to-date sales by international nameplate.