2016: The year that was good for car manufacturers


2016 has been a year in which many car manufacturers have managed to break records for car sales. The numbers are endless. Virtually all groups have grown in sales. No matter their origin or the group in which they are integrated.

In addition, the sales growth has been worldwide: here in the US, Europe, and in Asia. That does not mean that all manufacturers have done just as well in all geographies. Some have grown more than others and in some geographies, at a much faster rate.

Sales group to group

Let’s start with Asian manufacturers like KIA Motors. Per Reuters, The South Korean manufacturer grew in its worldwide sales more than 9%. In Spain by more than 18%. Hyundai, its sister brand grew more than 15% in Spain, totaling more than 50,000 units, not much, if we consider that it sold more than 470,000 units in Europe or 4.86 million sold worldwide.

It does not take a challenging South Korean manufacturer to succeed. The Japanese do not go wrong. Toyota has also increased its sales, both Toyota and Lexus, having sold 58,000 Toyotas and 5,700 Lexus. Both brands sell quite a few hybrid models (99% in the case of Lexus). Honda for its part celebrates the 100 million units sold in its history.

Nissan, for its part has grown 6%. And its European partner Renault has also increased its sales, adding a total of 3.18 million vehicles sold with its various brands (Renault, Dacia and Renault-Samsung). They remain the second best-selling brand in Europe, behind Volkswagen, while Audi sold more than 1,800,000 vehicles, up 3.8%.

Fiat Chrysler Auto has grown much more than the average car market, 28.7%, more than it has grown worldwide sales, up 10.9%. The other big US manufacturers have not gone bad. General Motors has sold 3.87 million units in China and the sum of Ford and Lincoln have sold more than 1.2 million in that country, both with record numbers.

They have also done well in the US, where GM sales grew by 10% and Ford sales by 0.3%. Another manufacturer we can highlight is Tesla, which although it has a much smaller size, has obtained reserves for more than 300,000 model 3, and that is not yet clear how even this vehicle will be.

Cars are sold, consumers trust in the future

New car sales are a good indicator of consumer expectations in the future. Many times they are made on credit, plus they always have cheaper substitutes such as public transport or used cars (even the maintenance and repair of the old car may be an option).

In fact, it seems that car buyers are relying on newly inaugurated President Trump, as sales in the United States continued to rise in December, as well as a rebound in consumer price sentiment. However, it remains to be seen, whether in 2017 and 2018 sales will grow at this rate as Trump’s trade policies may hinder growth.


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