US auto makers rebound as sales hit 15.5M vehicles

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Jan 04, 2014 09:18 AM EST

The US auto market has recovered its former size and character five years after skyrocketing fuel prices and turmoil in financial markets knocked auto makers into a tailspin.

According to Wall Street Journal, US care and light truck sales rose less than 1% in December, reflecting in part a hangover from a surge the month before. But overall, the US auto industry in 2013 had its best sales year since 2007. Industry executives on Friday said they expect gains to continue in 2014, though at a slower pace.

For the year, US consumers bought 15.5 million vehicles, according to market researcher Autodata Corp. This is up 7.6% from 2012 and is the strongest volume since 2007. Purchases of light trucks including sport-utility vehicles exceeded cars, a reversal from the year earlier, the report said.

Auto makers including Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., and Chrysler Group LLC posted single-digit percentage gains over the year-earlier month. Meanwhile, sales fell at the nation's largest auto maker General Motors Co. and at Toyota Motor Corp., WSJ said.

US sales averaged 16 million units a year between 1998 and 2007. Analysts and industry executives expect sales this year to reach about 16 million vehicles, the report said. 

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