August 7, 2003

Imports continue to increase U.S. market share

Troy, Michigan – Foreign automakers are giving the struggling Big Three a run for the money in securing US market share, says a study released on Wednesday by JATO Dynamics, a leading supplier of automotive industry and marketplace information. American automotive manufacturers gave up 1.62 percent of their US market share for light vehicles to the combined efforts of Toyota and Honda since the same time last year.

Leading the UMSI’s list of most improved makes is Honda with an increase of 1.10 percent in market share, which translates to an additional 93,814 vehicles over the same seven months last year. The carmaker remains the second largest volume import nameplate in the US with a 7.20 percent share in the market. The biggest import, Toyota, shows a solid increase with a 9.55 percent market share, up 0.52 percent over last year.

Other winners and losers include HUMMER, Hyundai, Infiniti and Volvo showing positive gains, with Buick, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Chrysler and Volkswagen coming up short.

Despite the impressive performance by the Japanese makes, Ford and Chevrolet remain the biggest players in the game with a combined market share of more than 33.25 percent.

The JATO study also examined sales performance of individual models. The following vehicles incurred some of the most noteworthy changes in the UMSI:

  • The Dodge Ram Pickup and the Chevy Silverado both recorded significant gains in market share by 0.4 and 0.2 percent respectively.
  • The Toyota Corolla showed the largest increase from all US vehicle models at a gain of 1.0 percent, resulting in a 2.1% total. This was largely due in part to Toyota’s inclusion of the Matrix sales under the Corolla nameplate, a change from their previous reporting method.
  • Chevrolet Blazer, Buick Century and Mercury Sable all faced sobering declines in sales, as the Blazer fell from 41,434 to 29,328, the Century fell from 58,377 to 25,303 and the Sable fell to 27,083 from 36,203.

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