Four of the five biggest carmakers in the US—Fiat-Chrysler (FCA), Ford, General Motors (GM), Toyota, and Honda—all reported sales declines in 2019 compared to a year ago.
The GM plant strike in September impacted the carmaker’s Q4 production, leading to a 25pc wholesale trade drop. It delivered 735,909 cars to US customers during the quarter, a 6.3pc decrease compared to Q4-2018. The company announced its Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickups drove sales in 2019. It also hinted at increasing its Flint Assembly plant capacity by 40,000 vehicles annually beginning this year, a decision informed by high sales for its heavy-duty vehicles in 2019.
FCA, which recently announced its mega merger, reported a decrease in annual sales. FCA’s US Q4 sales were down by 2pc to 542,519 vehicles compared with Q4-2018, while its annual sales were down by 1pc to 2,203,663 vehicles compared to the prior year period. According to Reid Bigland, FCA’s head of US sales, the company expects decelerating sales in 2020.
Ford’s total US sales also decreased by 1.3pc in Q4 to 601,862 vehicles compared to the same quarter in 2018. The company’s annual sales also dropped by 3pc to 2.44mn units sold compared with 2.49mn units sold in 2018. The company said the decline was driven by a decrease in sales of its cars and SUV models, despite sales of its trucks increasing during the year.
Toyota reported selling 2.3mn vehicles in 2019—a decrease of 1.8pc compared with 2.4mn vehicles sold in 2018. The company’s Hybrid cars division made the maximum gains during the year and grew its sales by 26.3pc.
Honda was the only carmaker to report an increase in sales, albeit only a marginal one in 2019. The company sold 1.608mn cars during the year, a 0.2pc increase over 1.604mn cars sold in 2018. However, the carmaker reported a 12pc sales decrease in December 2019, selling 136,566 units compared with 155,115 cars sold in December 2018.