Automobile Market Share

Jean Scheid
Automobile Market Share
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According to Automotive News, the automobile market share reveals some surprises and brings to light some automakers with big losses.

Breakdown of Automobile Market Share

With the restructuring of both General Motors and Chrysler and a Chrysler sale to Fiat, recent years have seen major changes in the auto industry. Automobile market share in one twelve month period was as follows:

Market Share by Manufacturer
Manufacturer Units 2008 Units 2009 Percent Change
Chrysler-Fiat 1,453,122 931,402 -36%
General Motors 2,954,819 1,677,234 -30%
Ford 2,002,279 1,677,234 -16%
Honda 1,428,765 1,150,784 -19%
Hyundai 675,139 735,127 9%
Subaru 187,699 216,652 15%
Mazda 263,949 207,767 -21%
Nissan 951,350 770,103 -19%
Toyota 2,217,660 1,770,147 -20%

With only Hyundai and Subaru showing a gain of the market share during this period, most automakers lost due to economy fall-out issues. Many consumers who lost jobs, stocks, and other securities seemed to be placing their disposable income dollars elsewhere instead of buying new vehicles.

Market Share Picks Up in December 2009

By December of 2009, the market share for December 2008 compared to December 2009 improved:

Dec 08/Dec 09 Market Share by Manufacturer
Manufacturer Dec 2008 Dec 2009 Percent Change
Chrysler-Fiat 89,813 86,523 -4%
General Motors 220,030 207,538 -6%
Ford 138,325 183,701 33%
Honda 86,085 107,143 24%
Hyundai 38,681 54,845 42%
Subaru 17,287 23,074 33%
Mazda 17,965 18,255 2%
Nissan 62,101 73,404 18%
Toyota 141,949 187,860 32%

Out of Detroit's "Big Three", both Chrysler-Fiat and General Motors lost in the December market, while Ford rose. In fact, Ford gained a whopping 33 percent of the market share. First place went to Hyundai at 42 percent. Toyota gained 32 percent, but the outlook for 2010 was less positive due to the massive Toyota recall issues.

Looking Ahead at Market Shares

While Toyota may suffer from reputation issues for some time due to the recalls of 2010, they will likely take drastic steps to regain customer loyalty. Other automakers, including Ford and General Motors, have focused on greener cars. Both American automakers have popular hybrids, the Chevy Malibu and the Ford Fusion. Along with Ford and GM's affordable compact/sedan hybrids, the Honda Insight and Nissan Altima are also anticipated to do well in the market share.

The Toyota Prius may be tops in looks and affordability, but again, with Toyota recalls, some analysts say new car buyers won't be looking at the Prius for some time.

Other hybrid models like the Cadillac Escalade and Ford Escape will appeal to families unaffected by the economy; both vehicles feature hefty price tags. GM's Volt, expected late in 2011, also comes with a price tag far higher than the average family can afford.

General Motors is the only one of the "Big Three" that will offer hybrid trucks at affordable prices, the GMC Sierra and the Silverado. The hybrid Dodge Ram has been put on hold, and most SUV hybrids are priced well over $50,000.

Less Models, One Platform

As in the past when Chrysler produced both the Mitsubishi Eclipse and the Eagle Talon from one platform, automakers will broaden platform utilization. This many-model platform idea will shut down some assembly lines, while increasing jobs in other manufacturing plants. Vehicle choices will also be slimmer with almost every automaker cutting a model line or two.

Rebates and Interest Rates

Automotive News also predicts rebates will be lower, while dealer incentives to sell vehicles will be higher. Interest rates from GMAC (General Motors Credit division) and Ford Motor Credit are expected to remain average. The best interest rates will be found at credit unions.

The automobile market share, which may have been steady between popular competitors in the past, is now all over the board. New car buyers are looking toward compact or sedan vehicles or hybrid cars for their fuel efficiency. Even with the Cash for Clunkers Bill that helped many automakers move vehicles, the market share for the auto industry will be determined by who can produce the cheapest and most fuel efficient compacts, sedans, and crossovers instead of fuel-hungry sport utility vehicles, trucks, and minivans favored in past years.

Automobile Market Share