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Automakers Report December and Annual Sales

January 7, 2008

December was a difficult month for auto sales, with Ford, GM, Nissan and Toyota seeing decreases. Chrysler and Honda, however, did see increases in December sales.

It was more of a mixed bag, however, for year-end sales, with Honda, Nissan and Toyota seeing increases and Chrysler, Ford and GM seeing sales declines. Last year turned out to be the worst year for auto sales since 1998.

Chrysler:

Chrysler LLC’s total U.S. sales for December 2007 were 191,423 units, an increase of 1 percent compared with December 2006 sales of 190,415 units.

“December proves that when you offer customers products with great value, they respond favorably,” said Jim Press, vice chairman and president, in a company release. “For 2008, we’ll offer six vehicles with 28 miles per gallon or better highway fuel economy. This combined with the best-in-industry Lifetime Powertrain Warranty in our Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles is bringing more customers to our showrooms.”

For 2007, total Chrysler LLC sales were 2.1 million, a decrease of 3 percent from 2006. However, with 119,243 units sold in 2007, Jeep Wrangler sales surpassed 100,000 units with an all-time sales record, versus 80,271 sold in 2006, up 49 percent.

Ford:

Ford’s December sales totaled 212,094, down 9 percent compared with a year ago. Volvo sales, however, were up almost 10 percent in December.

Ford did particularly well in Edge sales in December, its best-ever retail sales month. In its first full year, Edge sales were 130,125, exceeding Ford’s original forecast by 30 percent.

“Ford Edge is a great example of our plan to build products people really want to buy,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president, Marketing and Communications, in a company press release. “Demand is growing at a fast pace beyond the nation’s heartland, our traditional region of strength.”

Ford’s full-year 2007 sales totaled 2.57 million, down 12 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales were down 10 percent and fleet sales were down 18 percent (including a 32 percent reduction in daily rental sales). More than two thirds of Ford’s sales decline reflected discontinued products.

GM:

GM dealers in the United States delivered 323,453 vehicles in December, down 5 percent compared with a year ago. With 257,469 retail vehicle deliveries, retail sales for the month were up 1.5 percent.

"We've executed our Go-to-Market strategy throughout the year, and the results show stabilized retail share and net price, reduced daily rentals, improved residual values, smaller inventories and outstanding launch vehicle performance," said Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president, Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing, in a company release. "Growing our share in key car segments is integral to our strategy. The retail performance of the new Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac CTS, Saturn AURA, Pontiac G6 and the fuel-efficient Chevrolet Aveo, Cobalt and Pontiac G5, demonstrates the enthusiasm customers have for these outstanding vehicles."

Retail vehicles, as a percent of total deliveries, increased more than 5 percentage points to 80 percent.

GM delivered 3.87 million vehicles in 2007, down 6 percent compared with 2006.

For 2007, Enclave, OUTLOOK and Acadia crossovers exceeded 122,000 retail sales; GM's mid-utility crossover segment was up 333 percent retail.

Honda:

American Honda Motor Co. saw record sales results for the 11th consecutive year. Sales from both Honda and Acura Divisions totaled 1.6 million and pushed American Honda annual sales up 2.5 percent, based on the daily selling rate. The results also mark the company's 14th consecutive year-over-year sales increase. American Honda's December sales totaled 131,792 vehicles, a slight increase versus December 2006.

"This was definitely a challenging year to be in the car business, and 2008 isn't likely to be a piece of cake," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda, in a company release. "We have some great new products coming in the new year that will keep our momentum going."

Individual vehicle sales records were seen for Honda CR-V, Fit, Civic Hybrid and Acura RDX.

"Offering fuel efficiency and value along with a fun driving experience continues to be a recipe for success," added Colliver.

Nissan:

Nissan North America (NNA)’s sold 89,555 units in December, a 2.4-percent decrease from the prior year. Nissan Division sales declined by 2.2 percent over last year for the month, while Infiniti Division sales decreased by 3.5 percent versus the prior year.

Despite overall sales declines for the month, the Nissan Versa subcompact saw a record December, with sales of 6,214 units, up 49.8 percent versus the prior year. The Altima achieved record sales in December, with 25,151 units.

NNA finished the 2007 calendar year with sales totaling 1.1 million units, a 4.5-percent increase over 2006.

Nissan Division sales for 2007 totaled 941,200 units, a record calendar year and a 4.5-percent increase over 2006. Infiniti Division’s sales in 2007 reached 127,038 units, also a 4.5-percent increase over 2006.

In Infiniti Brand vehicles, the G Sedan experienced a record year in 2007, with sales of 54,015 units. The Altima also experienced a record calendar year, with 2007 sales totaling 284,762 units.

Toyota:

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) USA reported December sales results of 224,399, a decrease of 1.7 percent from the same period last year.

Toyota Division reported December sales of 189,844 units. Scion reported December sales of 8,944 units. Lexus reported December sales of 34,555 units, down 7.2 percent from the year-ago month.

"Great products and value drive a volatile market and put the consumer in the driver's seat," said TMS President Jim Lentz in a company release. "Toyota, Lexus and Scion deliver on both."

TMS saw best-ever year-end sales of 2.6 million vehicles, up 2.7 percent over 2006. This enabled Toyota to replace Ford as the No.2 automaker in the U.S.

Toyota Division recorded best-ever year-end sales of 2.3 million vehicles, up 2.9 percent over the prior year. Lexus retained its position as the best-selling luxury brand in America for the eighth consecutive year, selling a best-ever total of 329,177 units in 2007, up 1.8 percent over 2006. With overall sales of 130,181, the Scion line of vehicles contributed to the record sales year.

TMS calendar-year-to-date hybrid sales totaled 277,750 units, up 44 percent from 2006. In December, TMS posted sales of 24,269 hybrid vehicles, up 36 percent over last December. Toyota Division posted December sales of 21,972 hybrids and year-end sales of 257,765 units, up 51 percent over 2006. Lexus Division posted sales of 2,297 hybrids for the month and 19,985 units for the year.

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