There were record sales in 2015 in the automotive industry, as dealers racked up an impressive 17,470,659 light-vehicle sales last year. This topped the previous record of 17, 402,486 that was set in 2000.
It took a terrific last month of 2015 to get it done, but it happened due to a nearly nine percent jump in sales year-over-year for December. So who were some of the big winners that closed out 2015 with positive momentum?
Record Sales = Big Decembers
First, there’s Nissan. Their 19 percent year-over-year improvement helped them set an all-time high sales record of 1,351,420 vehicles. Even their high-line sister company, Infiniti, was up 26 percent.
Fiat-Chrysler also finished strong, up 13 percent from December 2014. Among its highlights was Jeep, which set a record with 865,028 sales. Additionally, the Ram truck brand had its best year ever since becoming its own brand in 2009.
Other major automakers up in December were Kia (19%), Toyota (11%), Honda (12%), Ford (8.3%) and General Motors (5.7%). Even some of the smaller producers like Volvo (up an amazing 90%), Land Rover (47%), Mitsubishi (21%), Mazda (18%) and Subaru (13%) saw significant gains.
Many luxury-car nameplates also had great years last year. Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and Audi each posted their best numbers ever in 2015.
What led to these astronomical record sales figures? Much of it has to do with leasing numbers. According to Edmunds, leases will account for about 29 percent of all retail sales for the year. This is a big jump from a decade ago, when just 16.6 percent of all vehicles sold were leases.
Auto dealers, give yourselves a round of applause. You’ve managed to set an all-time record sales number less than a decade after one of the worst recessions this country has ever seen. That’s quite a bounce back!
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