January U.S. Car Sales Continue Trend of Acceleration, Except for GM

Chrysler has seen strong sales of new Jeep models, like the 2012 Grand Cherokee.

Chrysler has seen strong sales of new Jeep models, like the 2012 Grand Cherokee. (jeep.com)

Sales of new cars in the United States continued their upward trend in January, up 11 percent from just a year ago. That’s the fastest pace of  in over four years, and if the trend continues throughout the year, automakers could be looking at a total of more than 14 million new cars being snapped up by consumers in 2012, far exceeding pre-2012 predictions from analysts.

Chrysler continues to lead the way and posted the largest increase of the Big Three, as they’ve done month after month for the last year. Chrysler said their sales increased by 44.3 percent from January 2011. Ford Motor Company also posted gains, with sales increasing by 7.3 percent.

Things aren’t quite so great for General Motors (GM). After reclaiming the crown as the world’s top automaker in 2011, January sales took a nosedive at GM. Cadillac and traditionally strong truck sales both declined, and GM saw its overall sales decrease by  6.1 percent.

That downward trend was evident in the sales figures for the Chevrolet Volt. Chevy’s electric and gasoline model sold right at 600 cars, less than half of the number of Volts moved in December 2011. We think the price of the Volt is the real reason consumers have rejected the model, but GM believes otherwise.

GM points to the NHTSA investigation into post-crash fires from the Volt’s battery as the biggest reason for the decline. The NHTSA has closed its investigation and indicates that the Volt poses no greater risk of fire than other automobiles on the road.

 


About Cecil Helton

Cecil Helton Cecil Helton is a U.S.-based writer and editor with passions for cars, motorcycles, boats, technology and social media. Much of his professional life since 1996 has been web-centric, and he’s written and developed content on a variety of subjects. His work in the houseboat industry received wide acclaim, such as winning the 1999 Cisco Systems Growing with Technology award and being named one of five finalists in the manufacturing sector of the 2000 Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards. As an Air Force brat, he spent much of his childhood in a two-year cycle of moving to a new place, making new friends, establishing a life, and then moving again. Destinations included: Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, the Greek isle of Crete, California and Ohio. Today you’ll find Cecil coping with his 15 year old son’s decision to pursue a motorcycle license at the same time he gets his driver’s license, being active across the web on multiple social media sites, and of course, writing articles and creating content on automotive and car insurance related topics right here at CarInsurance.org.


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