Written by: Sandy Williams
One of the biggest drivers of steel usage – particularly galvanized steel – is in the automotive segment of the industry. The automotive industry has been helping keep the steel industry afloat since the recession hit and each year since 2009 the industry has both sold and produced more cars and light trucks. Last year (2012) continued that trend and January 2013 has begun what looks like will be a banner year for the both the automotive and steel industry.
Last year the auto industry sold 14.5 million vehicles, a 13 percent increase over 2011 and the best sales in five years. U.S. sales may jump as high as 15.5 million vehicles in 2013 according to analysts, due to an improving economy and replacement of aging vehicles.
General Motors Co. sold 194,699 cars and trucks in January, a 16 percent increase over January 2011. Cadillac sales were the highest in 23 years, up 47 percent in January.
Chrysler sold 117,731 vehicles in January, up 16 percent from January 2012 and the best January sales since 2008. It was also the 34th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.
Ford Motor Company had its best January since 2006 as sales rose 22 percent to 166,501 vehicles . Gains were seen across the product lineup – cars up 34 percent, utilities vehicles up 23 percent, and trucks up 11 percent.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. grew 26.6 percent to 157,000 vehicles. “The sales pace we saw in the fourth quarter of last year rolled into January, exceeding our expectations for the industry,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. “Toyota started the year off strong, with total sales up over 26 percent, more than double the industry average.”
American Honda sold 93,626 vehicles for a 12.8 percent increase from January 2012. Total car sales for the month increased 20.6 percent to 54,032 units from 44,818 units in the year ago month, while total truck sales for the month were 39,594 units, up 3.7 percent from 38,191 units last year.
Volkswagen Group of America, posted a 6.7 percent sales gain in January with 29,018 vehicles sold. It was the bet January sales since 1974.
Hyundai Motor America Coming off a record 2012 sales year, set a new all-time record for January sales with 43,713 units, up 2.4 percent versus 2012.
Subaru of America, Inc. sales in January 2013 totaled 27,663 vehicles, a 21 percent increase over January 2012. Subaru exceeded 300,000 annual sales in 2012 – a first in company history.
Kia Motors America, reported that U.S. vehicle sales for the month of January were 36,302 units, up 2.2 percent from 35,517 units in the same month last year.
The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported January sales of 20,195 vehicles, an increase of 2.3 percent from the 19,739 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago.
“After an historic December, January produced a good result showing our growth continuing,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America, LLC. “In 2013 we’ll have more new models, the right mix and better availability, so I’m very positive about the eleven months still ahead.”
Sandy WilliamsRead more from Sandy Williams
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