US Market: Continued growth spurs investment
New model launches and facility expansions reflect OEM efforts to meet strong demand
|The 2014 Jeep Cherokee returns to the US after being discontinued in 2001.
It will replace the outgoing Jeep Liberty.
The US market continues to recover from the Great Recession of 2008-2009 with LMC forecasting 2.1% GDP growth in 2013 and 3% in 2014. Buyers are returning to the showrooms in increasing numbers, creating a demand for vehicles that hasn't been seen for many years. Sales of cars and light trucks increased by 13.8% from 2011 to 2012, continuing the upward trend from the lows experienced in 2009. Total unit sales in 2012 approached 14.5 million units, the highest level since the 10.4 million low in 2009, but not as high as the roughly 16.1 million vehicles sold in 2007, before the recession set in.
Although the eight largest OEMs posted increases in US sales, only four gained market share in 2012. Toyota and Honda saw a rebound of market share of 1.5 and 0.8 points respectively as they recover volumes after the natural disasters in 2011. Chrysler gained 0.6 points and Volkswagen gained 0.5 point on the strength of new model introductions. GM (-1.7), Ford (-1.1), Nissan (-0.1) and Hyundai Kia (-0.2) all lost ground.
Vehicle manufacturers are responding to this demand by introducing a new range of models and redesigning old models. GM is refreshing 70 percent of its vehicles over two years while Asian and European OEMs are focusing their attention on updating their premium brands. Companies are also investing heavily in their US facilities to expand capacity and add flexibility to the production process. Nearly every OEM with a factory in the US has announced upgrades or capacity expansions, adding up to billions of dollars in investments. With no immediate slowdown in sight, a wave of optimism continues to permeate the industry. LMC Automotive's latest forecast shows this optimism as US sales are expected to rise by 15.5% for the period from 2013-2016.
This report features investments by domestic and foreign OEMs in their facilities around the US. New and recently redesigned vehicles are highlighted, showing the diversity of models available to the buying public. Past sales figures show upward trends while LMC Automotive offers forecasts for the US market through 2016.
North American International Auto Show 2013 (1): US and European OEMs, February 2013
North American International Auto Show 2013 (2): Asian OEMs, February 2013
GM predicts continued growth for 2013, April 2013