DETROIT (Jan. 5, 2006) — Sales of cars and light trucks in the U.S. grew 0.5 percent last year, as gains by Japanese and South Korean transplants offset declines by General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.
Overall sales grew to nearly 17 million units in 2005, according to data collected and analyzed by Automotive News, a sister publication of Tire Business.
GM's Chevrolet brand was the No. 1 selling brand last year, reclaiming the title from Ford for the first time in 19 years based on falling sales of Ford light trucks.
Last year Chevrolet sold 2.65 million cars and light trucks, vs. Ford's 2.63 million. Ford's car sales actually grew in 2005, but the division's truck sales fell 189,932 units.
Overall, GM and Ford saw full-year sales drop 4.3 percent and 5 percent, respectively, for the year.
Conversely, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.'s U.S. sales grew 9.7 percent last year to 2.26 million units and America Honda Motor Co.'s sales rose 4.9 percent to 1.46 million units. DaimlerChrysler A.G.'s U.S. sales, including Mercedes-Benz, rose 4.2 percent to 2.53 million units.
Nissan North America notched sales of more than 1 million in a calendar year for the first time in its history, even as December sales fell 1.1 percent from December 2004 to 91,253 units. For the full year, Nissan and Infiniti sales totaled 1.08 million.
Also among the gainers for 2005 was Hyundai Group, including the Kia brand, which posted a 6.1-percent gain to 730,863 units.
GM's full-year U.S. sales, including Saab, totaled 4.45 million, down 4.3 percent from 2004. Sales for Ford, which includes Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo, totaled 3.15 million units in 2005, down 5.0 percent from 2004. Ford affiliate Mazda sold 258,399 vehicles in the U.S. in 2005, down 2.1 percent from 2004.
DaimlerChrysler held onto the No. 3 spot in U.S. sales for the year, but Toyota narrowed the gap to just shy of 100,000 units after trailing by 367,585 units in 2004.
BMW's sales for 2005 grew 3.7 percent to 307,465 units; BMW's sales include the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands.
Volkswagen Group, which includes the Audi and Bentley brands, suffered a 7.6-percent drop in sales, to 310,915 units, despite an 18.5-percent rise in December.
Japanese auto maker Subaru posted sales a sales gain of 4.6 percent to 196,002 units, while Porsche's U.S. sales rose 1.5 percent to 31,933 units.