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U.S. Auto Sales Reach Post-Recession Peak in 2012

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Jan. 7, 2013—With the release of automakers’ year-end numbers over the past couple weeks, the U.S. auto industry capped its best year in terms of auto sales since 2007.

The industry totaled 14.5 million deliveries in 2012, a post-recession peak that also marked the first three-year stretch of 10 percent growth since 1973.

For a comparison, the industry averaged almost 17 million vehicles each year in the decade prior to 2007.

Leading the way was General Motors Corp., which increased its sales by 3.7 percent (2.6 million units) and retained its place as the overall sales leader in the U.S. market.
Ford Motor Co. was second at 2.24 million, a 4.7 percent growth.

Toyota was third at 2.08 million unit with 27 percent growth. The company also had the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. for the 11th straight year, the Camry.

Chrysler Group LLC, with a 21 percent jump and 1.65 million units delivered, was fourth. Honda Co. was next at 1.42 million unites in 2012, a 24 percent increase.

Some of the most notable improvements in sales came from luxury automakers. BMW showed a 14 percent increase in its U.S. sales—including a staggering 39 percent jump in December—moving 281,460 total units for the year. Mercedes-Benz and Lexus also had big years.

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