U.S. Market: Sales recovering to pre-financial crisis levels
Automakers investing in fuel-saving powertrains and products
Sales recovering to pre-depression levels
The U.S. market has nearly recovered to the levels before the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. According to LMC Automotive's forecasts, the light vehicle sales in the U.S. in 2014 will total around 16.3 million units. Although still below the 17.4 million units mark in 2000, the sales are steadily increasing due to the recovery of labor markets and consumer sentiments. It appears that the sales will top the 17 million mark within a few years.
Huge changes seen in unit sales and shares among automakers
Sales data for 2000-2013 by automaker indicates a significant plunge for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. The Detroit Three's sales totaled 11.64 million units in 2000, and decreased by more than 4.5 million units to 7.07 million units in 2013. In contrast, a significant growth in sales was marked by Japanese automakers, Toyota, Nissan and Honda, and Hyundai-Kia in South Korea.
The Detroit Three also lost their shares significantly in 2000 to 2013. The Detroit Three's total market shares accounted for 66.9% in the U.S. light vehicle market in 2000 but fell by 21.5 percent points to 45.4% in 2013. Again, shares increased significantly for Japanese automakers, Toyota, Nissan and Honda, and Hyundai-Kia in South Korea.
Brisk launches of new models in 2014
New models are being launched one after another in 2014. For instance, Ford is launching 16 all-new or facelifted models in 2014. Other automakers are also launching their new models.
Investing to develop more fuel-efficient powertrains and revamp product lineup in the U.S.
Having slashed their excess production capacities in the U.S. after the global financial crisis, the Detroit Three's investment in the home markets is made for expanding capacities of their existing plants but not for building new assembly facilities. Their investments in the U.S. in 2014 are mainly aimed at the renewal of fuel-efficient powertrains and product lineup.
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