Dec 292012

Back in 2006, General Motors (GM) was the clear leader in production with 493,841 units (just over 25% of the national total). Nissan was second with 411,236 units (21%). These were followed by Volkswagen (VW) – 339,183; Ford – 329,993 and Chrysler – 307,344. The newcomers, Toyota and Honda trailed way behind with 33,835 and 24,297 units, respectively.

By 2011 the picture had changed considerably. All the manufacturers suffered major losses in 2009 as a result of the Great Recession, but all have recovered, some better than others. Between 2006 and 2011, Nissan increased total production by 48%. In 2011, Nissan led all producers with 607,087 units for almost 24% of the national total.

Nissan easily surpassed GM which increased 2006 to 2011 by only 10% for a total of 544,202 units. VW increased by an impressive 50% to 510,041 units. Ford nearly kept pace with an increase of 40% to 462,462 units. Chrysler with merged with Fiat matched GM with an increase of only 10% up to 338,772 vehicles. Toyota upped production by a very significant 47% to 49,596 units. Honda did even better, increasing its production by a whopping 87% to 45,390 units.

Final data are not yet available to determine which companies led production in 2012. Overall production was expected to rise by over 20% in 2012 and perhaps even faster in future years judging by the amount auto companies are currently investing in Mexico. Obviously, production levels in 2013 and beyond will be closely tied to demand which is linked to overall economic growth. Judging from the investment amounts announced so far, it appears that Nissan will retain its lead in total production, with VW and Ford perhaps challenging GM for second place.

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