December US Auto Sales Up From 2009

Although 2010 has been a down year for the automotive industry compared to earlier in the decade, it has had its share of moments and improvements over last year, although some automakers would like to erase this year from memory forever.

Sales numbers are just beginning to come in for December and analysts are predicting industry annual sales of 12.3 million units, according to Reuters. If this estimate turns out to be true, it will give automakers a massive amount of momentum heading into 2011.

Due to the economic downturn, many were predicting annual sales of 10 to 11.5 million. Today, Reuters polled analysts and the results show an estimation of 11.5 million units sold this year.

“That’s [11.5 million] a long way from the 16 million and 17 million sales rates that we experienced for the better part of this decade. But we’re coming out of 2010 on an upswing and I think this bodes well for 2011,” said Ford sales analyst George Pipas.

With sales up from last year, there are bound to be some success stories in the auto industry and leading the way are the Koreans. Hyundai and Kia have come out of the cellar, with the fabulous Sonata selling over 200,000 units.

American automakers are beginning to change their ways as well, as many are learning that large fleet sales might not be a good idea. Analysts are predicting that fleet sales will drop nearly 1.5 percent to a month’s average of 19 percent, down from 20.4 percent, according to TrueCar records.

General Motors might also see a December sales gain of 1.9 percent, while Ford will jump 6.3 percent, compared to this time last year, according to TrueCar.com.

While Detroit is on the rebound, Toyota is the only major automaker expected to report a drop for the month. Analysts are expecting the Japanese automaker to drop 11.4 percent, due to its massive recall campaign early this year.

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