TOKYO (majirox news) –Ford Motor, General Motors and the Chrysler Group are leading the way for many U.S. consumers who once discarded domestic brands in favor of Asian and European brands. The U.S. car producers are recapturing the market.
Six of the top 10 cars in demand through October 2011 on the U.S. market were manufactured by these three car producers, and there wasn’t a Honda or CR-V among them. The longtime favorites have been slipping since Japan’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March, which caused parts shortages. In addition, before the disaster, there were quality recalls.
Just a year or two ago, Toyota was poised to become the largest selling brand in the market. Now, the Ford Fusion, Escape and GM’s new compact Chevrolet Cruze are making their way to the top of the list.
Although Japanese cars are rebounding from a summer low and a better selection of brands and could even see their best sales since 2008, news like this continues to send shivers down the spines of Japanese carmakers.
Toyota, for example, is still having problems as the monsoon in Thailand could delay the launch of its new CR-V due to parts shortages. This follows the shortages in its supply chain after the earthquake. Honda’s vehicles were deemed ordinary.
There’s no doubt the playing field today is more competitive for quality. In Consumer Reports, Ford has almost pulled even with Toyota in the eyes of the American consumer, garnering 141 points to Toyota’s 147 points. Statistically, the difference between these numbers is insignificant. They are effectively in a dead heat. This was unimaginable two years ago and spells big trouble for Japanese manufacturers. Toyota has dropped 45 points, while Ford has risen 35 points.
Additionally, Korean cars are chewing into the bottom of the Japanese car markets–and what makes this fact even more interesting is that one of the biggest Korean made makers, Daewoo is entirely owned by General Motors.
The seasonally adjusted sales rate for October was 13.3 million vehicles, according to Autodata. Chrysler, Volkswagen, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and BMW posted double-digit gains. Ford Motor and General Motors had gains of 6% and 2%, respectively.
The top winners of U.S. sales were Ford’s F-series pickups and GM’s Chevrolet Silverado. The top passenger car continues to be the Toyota Camry; however, sales are down by 8.5% so far this year.
1. Ford F-50 pickup
2. Chevrolet Silverado pickup
3. Toyota Camry
4. Nissan Altima
5. Ford Escape
6. Ford Fusion
7. Honda Accord
8. Toyota Corolla
9. Chevrolet Cruze
10. Ram pickup