2020 Was Brutal For Automakers As Many Post Decline In Sales

2020 is officially in the rearview mirror and a handful of automakers have released their fourth quarter and year-end sales results.

Kicking things off is General Motors, which sold 771,323 vehicles in the fourth quarter and 2,547,339 vehicles for the entire year in the United States.
While total deliveries were down 12 percent on a year-over-year basis, there was plenty of good news as GM estimates they “gained market share across the board in total, retail and fleet deliveries for both the fourth quarter and calendar year.” That isn’t the only bright spot as average transaction prices set fourth quarter and full-year records at $41,886 and $39,229, respectively.
Unsurprisingly, the company’s truck and SUV lineup had a strong showing. Sales of the redesigned Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe / Suburban and GMC Yukon exceeded expectations, while Chevrolet Silverado crew cabs had their best quarter and calendar-year for retail and total sales.
Also Read: U.S. Car Sales May Not Recover To Pre-Pandemic Levels For Two Years

Moving on, Hyundai Motor America sold 178,844 units in the fourth quarter and 622,269 units for the year. Those are declines of 2% and 10%, respectively, compared to 2019.
Hyundai crossovers set an all-time sales record as 402,661 were sold in 2020, which is an increase of 9%. These gains were led by the Kona, Palisade and Venue. However, sales of the Santa Fe and Tucson dropped compared to 2019.
At Porsche, retail deliveries in the United States totaled 57,294 units. While that’s down 6.9% from last year, the company is pleased with the results.
The Macan and Cayenne were best sellers as they racked up a combined 36,723 retail sales for the year. They were followed by the 911 and Taycan. Speaking of the latter, around one quarter of the 4,414 Taycans sold were delivered in California.

Sticking with the Germans, Volkswagen of America saw fourth quarter sales climb 11% to 94,330 units. However, year-over-year sales dropped 10% to 325,784 units with sales of the Atlas plunging 28%.
On the bright side, the Atlas Sport Cross seems to be off to a strong start as 29,069 were sold in 2020. The facelifted Passat also enticed buyers as sales jumped 63% to 22,964 units.
Moving onto Toyota, 2020 sales were down 11.3% to 2,112,941 vehicles. However, the company was the “number one retail brand for the 9th consecutive year” and hybrid sales jumped 22.7% percent to 337,036 units. Furthermore, the Camry and RAV4 retained their crowns as the best-selling passenger car and crossover.
On the Lexus side of things, sales fell 7.7% to 275,041 units for the year. Sales were down largely across the board, but the LC, UX and GX all posted gains.

At Mazda, sales were up 0.2% for the year as the company moved 279,076 units. Crossover sales were up 11% from 2019 and this helped to offset declines in demand for the Mazda3 and Mazda6. However, it’s worth noting CX-3 sales plummeted nearly 49% and this means the crossover was outsold by the MX-5 Miata.
Subaru wasn’t as lucky as sales fell 12.6% to 611,942 units in 2020. Every model was down for the year, but sales have largely rebounded and the Crosstrek recorded its best December ever.
Last but not least, Bentley had its best year ever as 11,206 units were sold globally in 2020. The strong sales were due to continued success in America and big growth in China, where sales jumped 48%. The results can be chalked up to the new Flying Spur and continued demand for the Bentayga, which was responsible for 37% of all Bentley sales.
Needless to say, 2020 was a challenging year for automakers and sales declines were expected due to lockdowns as well as plant and dealership closures.


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