American automotive market is the second biggest in the world, after the Chinese one. In recent years market changed drastically, due to numerous oil crises that hit US. Petrol prices are influencing manufacturers to produce more small cars, and the market to become more like European one where large cars are produced only as a luxury models, while middle class drives small cars that are much more fuel efficient than the regular middle class vehicles in United States.
American market is changing very slow. Large vehicles are still on the top of best selling lists, with Ford F150 pickup truck being the best selling vehicle in America for over 25 years. Vulnerability of American car market was seen during the great 2008 economic crises, when some of the market leaders like GM and Chrysler needed to take government loan, which initiated the protest because this intervention was seen as government making an influence on the open market and financing only certain companies. Most of the people thought that Ford company, which is one of the rare big companies that was solvent during these years, will be against government loans to two of its biggest rivals. Ford Company supported the government act. This intervention made these two companies stand on their feet. GM sales increased after the loan especially with its: Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Aveo and Pontiac vibe models. On the other hand truck and SUV sales were down for more that 36% during the mentioned year. These changes influenced GM to change its strategy from its roots. Now they are thinking of selling Hummer brand as well as canceling $2 million investments that were meant for updating their full-size SUV program.
Ford Company went through this turbulent year without government intervention. They car sales increased for around 20% during 2008, but also some of the Ford divisions survived great losses due to economic crises. Biggest Ford looser was the Lincoln-Mercury brand. Also the Ford’s SUV program sales decreased for 44%, while the truck program sales decreased for 29%. One of the measures Ford introduced while fighting this negative trend in vehicle sales is the introduction of some of its more fuel efficient European models to the United States.
Chrysler’s sales largely decreased before the government loan, especially when it comes to SUVs, trucks and other less fuel efficient vehicles. Chrysler got a government loan from both United states and Canadian government and it is the first company that managed to pay back the loan five years early. Pay back sum was around 7,6 billion dollars. In 2014 this company signed an agreement that will end the merge between them and Fiat and foundation for the future Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Company.
Japanese companies on the American market saw much smaller decrease in sales during those turbulent years. Toyota sales were down by 21,3%, Honda’s car sales up for staggering 30,7%, but with losses in sales of trucks and vehicles from Acura division. Overall sales of Nissan vehicles increased for 10,4% during the economic crises and make this company increase its share of the American market to 8,8%, biggest share it had in history.
American brands got back on their feet, few years after the crises, but Japanese car make is still on e of the most popular brands. In last few year’s we can also see the increase in sales of some Korean brands like Hyundai and Subaru.
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