US Auto Industry Saw Sales Jump 17% in January 2011
A further sign of improvement in consumer confidence is the fact that US customers are choosing to buy cars from the big three American carmakers, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, which posted double digit gains last month.
"January is a seasonally slow month, but we believe the industry turned in a healthy showing for the month with solid volume gains, reiterating the fourth quarter's positive momentum," said Efraim Levy, an analyst with Standard & Poor's Equity Research.
General Motors is still the market leader, reporting a 22 percent rise in sales to 178,896 vehicles, thanks to strong demand for their products and an improved company image. Its share of the market rose 0.9 points to 21.8 percent, according to Autodata.
"The gain was driven by solid retail sales which were 36 percent higher than a strong January a year ago," said the company, which emerged bankruptcy protection in 2009.
Marking the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases, Chrysler announced its sales jumped some 23 percent to 70,118 vehicles in January, while market share grew 0.4 points to 8.6 percent.
"Chrysler's year over year increase is especially impressive considering how much they sold in fleet this time last year," noted Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmunds.
Meanwhile, Ford only saw its figures increase by 13.3 percent last month to 127,317 vehicles, however its share fell 0.5 points to 15.5 percent.
"We begin 2011 in a strong position -- ready to meet the needs of a wide range of customers with a full portfolio of high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president for US marketing, sales and service.