The United States auto industry has kicked off 2012 with a bang. The general rule-of-thumb is that the first few months of a new year return smaller sales outputs compared to the middle and end but even still, the American light duty vehicle market saw an overall increase. Compared to January 2011, there was a 11.4 percent jump in total vehicle sales with a final number of 913,287 sold. In the 24 selling days of January 2012, 468,321 cars were purchased while buyers took custody of 444,966 trucks and SUVs. For the most part, each segment saw an increase with the exception of two: the large SUV and the large car. Full size people haulers only experienced a drop of 7.3 percent compared to 2011 with a total output of 14,783. Not terrible especially compared to the fall witnessed by the assumingly sick large car market. With just 1,156 examples sold in January, the full size sedan fell 83.5 percent compared to last year. This could be further proof that the American public is shifting towards more compact and efficient means of transportation.

In the battle for individual vehicle domanance, January once again saw the Ford F-Series pickup come out on top. With 38,493 trucks purchased, the blue oval institution out sold the second place Toyota Camry by more than 10,000 units. Blame can be placed on both America’s love affair with the pickup truck and the Ford’s excellent EcoBoost engine. The 2012 model year has clearly done the Toyota Camry well as the newly re-invented sedan experienced a 55.9 percent increase in sales compared to the 2011 car. Third place went to the Chevrolet Silverado with 26,850 sold; a slight 4.7 percent drop from January 2011. In the fight for best selling small car, the reigning champion, the Chevrolet Cruze, had to step aside to let a legend return to glory. Despite its massive controversy, the new Honda Civic managed to outsell all other compacts with 21,883 units sold. Compared to 2011, that is a nearly 50 percent increase.

Of all the manufactures invested into the United States, General Motors took top sales honors for January 2012. The general sold 167,962 cars and trucks which was slightly less, a 6.1 percent drop, than 2011. Ford took second place with 136,294 units sold followed closely by Toyota who unloaded 124,540 vehicles. Chrysler LLC experienced a massive increase compared to last January with a total sales figure of 101,149. Despite placing fourth in the race for manufactures, the other member of the big three was assisted by Pentastar power to jump 44.3 percent compared to 2011. Another company to see a big increase was Land Rover, who sold 3,205 luxury SUVs. The brand has never had a huge market in the US but even still, that figure is 41.1 percent better than last January. On the opposite end of the spectrum was Saab. Without warranties and parents, the bankrupt Swede managed to only sell 101 vehicles in January, a 84.7 percent drop from last year. During the month, the American people purchased 125 Ferraris, 154 Maseratis, 118 Bentleys and 30 Rolls Royces. Maybach managed to convince five people to purchase one of their cars.

Source: The Wall Street Journal