In 2012 the German group brands once again grew faster than the US market. They pushed up their sales of light vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks) by over 21 per cent to around 1.27 million units, while the total light vehicle market expanded by a good 13 per cent to more than 14.4 million vehicles. “Our manufacturers have thus increased their share of the world’s largest automobile market for seven years in succession. The German group brands have even done far better than the rapidly expanding US market itself. With their fuel-efficient and attractive models, our OEMs are showing high-speed growth in the USA,” stressed Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). In December 2012 the German brands also increased their rate of growth. While the total light vehicle market increased by 9 per cent to 1.35 million units, the German manufacturers expanded three times as fast, pushing up their US sales by over 27 per cent to a good 137,000 new vehicles.
“It is remarkable that we have faster growth, both in passenger cars and in light trucks, than these markets have,” Wissmann underlined. For example, the German producers increased their sales of cars by just over 22 per cent in 2012, to 920,400 units, while the overall car market grew by nearly 19 per cent to a little over 7.2 million units. “This means that we have increased our market share in the passenger car segment to 12.7 per cent. More than one in eight new passenger cars sold in the USA in 2012 bore a German badge,” Wissmann said. In December the German manufacturers sold over 94,900 cars, which was a good quarter more (up by 26.4 per cent) than in the same month last year, whereas the total passenger car market expanded by around 16 per cent to approximately 631,100 units.
Last year in the light truck segment the German manufacturers enjoyed keen growth in sales, which rose by over 19 per cent to 345,000 units. They therefore grew more than twice as much as the light truck market as a whole, which increased by a good 8 per cent to 7.2 million units. In December light truck sales by German brands soared by nearly 30 per cent, while the total light truck market recorded growth of only just over 3 per cent, to 719,500 units.
“The light truck segment accounts for around 50 per cent of the overall US market. It is impressive just how the German manufacturers are consistently increasing their market share in this area. The automotive year 2012 was the most successful one so far for our companies on the US market. This gets us off to a good start in 2013. We are optimistic as we look forward to the Detroit Motor Show, which will take place in just a few days and where our manufacturers will present a large number of new models. We are pulling out all the stops to continue the German automotive industry’s success story in the United States this year,” Wissmann underlined.