New Car Sales Close 2011 on High Note for Domestic Brands

Chrysler posted a 26 percent rise in sales in 2011, thanks to models like the 200.

Chrysler posted a 26 percent rise in sales in 2011, thanks to new models like the 200.

When we look back at the recent past, the one thing that stands out in our mind is the volatility of new car sales, and how they represent a microcosm on the overall health of the global economy. 2009 saw the economic downturn impact new car sales to the point that they were the lowest they had been in three decades.

But then, 2009 was a watershed year in many respects, as not only did the bottom fall out of sales, but industry stalwarts General Motors and Chrysler were both left with no choice but to seek the protections of bankruptcy. Ford Motor Company, however, took an even more drastic and brave step – mortgaging nearly everything to ensure they’d have the cash flow and resources to survive an extended downturn.

2010 saw a slight improvement in the fortunes of nearly every automaker, domestic or foreign, but it looks like the industry has finally turned the corner in 2011.

The big winner for the year, as they’ve been for months, looks to be Chrysler. The Fiat owned company posted a whopping 37 percent increase in year over year sales for December, and a total year sales rise of 26 percent.

Compared to Chrysler’s stunning performance, Ford posted a modest 10 percent increase in December from a year ago, and is up 11 percent for the entire year. Ford has posted sales and market share gains for three consecutive years, the first time the company has done so since 1970.

General Motors posted just a small gain of 5 percent. However, they end the year up 14 percent overall, and also posted huge gains in their marketshare.

We’re still awaiting the results of most foreign automakers, and expect to have those numbers in hand soon.

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

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