The astonishing recalls that General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) had last year do not appear to have hurt sales this month. GM is expected to have a large increase in sales from January 2014 to January 2015.
According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), a rising tide will lift most boats in January. The car research firm’s experts wrote:
In January, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,140,000 units, up 12.9 percent from January 2014 and down 24.2 percent from December 2014.
GM’s sales are expected to rise 19.5% for the period to 205,000. Its market share, at 18%, will continue to be well below the 25% it had several years before its bankruptcy. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU), which has been the hot manufacturer for the past two years, is expected to have a sales increase of 14% to 145,000. Toyota Motor Corp.’s (NYSE: TM) sales are expected to rise 12.7% to 165,000. This means the largest Japanese manufacturer will nearly catch Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), the sales of which are expected to rise 12.1% to 172,000.
Among the other largest companies based on U.S. sales, Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s (NYSE: HMC) sales are expected to rise 11.3% to 112,000. Nissan’s are expected to rise 8.3% to 98,000. Hyundai-Kia’s will be 88,000, or 8.6% higher. Perennial loser Volkswagen will not recover, according to KKB. Its sales will rise less than those of the U.S. market, up only 9% to 40,000.
The U.S. continues to be the second largest car market in the world, behind China. America and China are joined by the European Union as the three largest car markets based on unit sales. Growth in Europe has been harmed by the recession there, although sales have begun to turn positive. The Chinese market’s growth has been spotty because of changes in government incentives and, perhaps, air pollution. The U.S. market has been the one unqualified success based on growth. Perhaps that is due to an overall recovery in consumer spending as unemployment drops and gross domestic product improves.
In short, America will remain the region with the most potential for car sales growth for a third year.