Bumper sales year for automotive manufacturers (Part 1)

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Into 2013 and car makers are posting their results for 2012 which appears to have been a record breaking year for the bulk of the manufacturers. All the more impressive because they all claim a tougher market against which they had to compete.

Yesterday, we reported that Jaguar Land Rover UK had announced that they had their best ever UK sales year in 2012. Land Rover brand sales were up 25% and claimed 27% market share in its market segment. Jaguar saw a 2.4% increase in sales with the the revised XF saloon sales up 10% on 2011 to outsell the Mercedes-Benz E-class and Audi A6.

Other manufacturers announced their own record sales.

In the UK, Vauxhall was number one in its segment for the following models: the Insignia, Astra GTC  and Zafira.  The Astra GTC beats its major German rival by 3:1 at retail and 2:1 at fleet sales and was the fastest growing brand at retail in 2012. Vauxhall also became the number one supplier to Police fleets with 70% market share. Commercial vehicles also did well with Vauxhall placed at number one in the UK commercial vehicle market in 2012.

Subaru announced an all-time sales record in 2012 for the US, Canada and Australia markets. They were the only maker to post sales increases for five consecutive years in the US with sales in the US up 26% on 2011. The Impreza was the best selling Subaru model with 68,175 units sold, up 150% on 2011. In 2012, Canada total sales was up almost 15% from 2011; Australia up 18.5% from 2011.

Kia UK announced a 24% increase in sales in 2012 from 2011. Kia Global posted an 8% increase in sales from 2011.

Skoda also lay claim to a record year – up 19% from 2011. The Skoda Superb Hatchback was the marque's best seller with sales up 39% on the year before.

Hyundai UK was one of the Top 10 best selling manufacturers in the UK – the first for a Korean brand -with sales up 18.1% on 2011. Globally, Hyundai's sales rose 8.6% in 2012.

BMW UK also had record sales, confirming its position as the number one premium car company in the UK. One in 11 of all new cars sold in the UK in 2012 was a BMW Group product.

Not to be outdone, Mercedes-Benz also made their claim on the premium brand segment as the fastest growing premium brand in the UK. Record market share achieved for passenger cars with 4.5% market share by end 2012 – the strongest result ever with 10% year-on-year growth, the second year in a row that Mercedes-Benz has seen double digit growth. Best selling models in 2012 were the C-class Coupé, the SLK-class, E-class cabriolet, CLS-class Coupé and the S-class each leading their respective market segments.

The only downer so far seems to be Volvo Car Group which posted a 6.1% decrease in global sales in 2012 against 2011 sales.

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