Toyota Leads US Auto Market to Highest Level Since 2007 image

Toyota and Honda managed to lead the US auto sales to the highest level since 2007, as Japanese automakers rebound from the 2011 natural disasters.

In 2012 Toyota’s sales increased 27% to 2.08 million units and Honda was up 24% to 1.42 million vehicles, according to the companies’ announcements made yesterday, January 3rd. GM, Ford and Chrysler’s sales exceeded analysts’ estimations for December reaching a surprising growth helping the nation’s economy propel.

Although the Japanese automakers were the ones to lead this growth, all major car makers added jobs and shifts at their US plants last year to match production with rising demand, propelling the US economic growth. Auto sales in the US hit 14.5 million units, an increase of 13%, the highest level since 2007. Analysts said they that the growth will continue, expecting sales in 2013 to reach 15 million vehicles.

“If you want to hang your hat on something that’s really improved in our industry, it’s the North American auto business,” George Magliano, senior principal economist for IHS Automotive in New York, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a shining piece of U.S. manufacturing.”

In December, Chrysler sales increased 10%, GM’s 4.9% and Ford’s 1.6%, compared with analysts’ estimates of 7.6% for Chrysler, 2.1% for GM and 1.2 for Ford.