Asians Roar Back, Resume Conquest of Retail Market

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Washington DC April 22, 2013; The AIADA newsletter reported that Japanese and Korean automakers accounted for nearly half of all retail sales in 2012, bouncing back after inventory shortages caused by Japan's 2011 earthquake were resolved.

Asian companies passed the 50 percent milestone in 2009, when they accounted for 50.9 percent of retail volume, which grew to 51.7 percent in 2010. Their share dipped to 48.5 percent in 2011. But 2012 registration data released last week by R.L. Polk – which exclude fleet sales – show that Detroit's long decline in retail share has resumed.

Although last year was a good one for almost all companies, the combined increase in retail sales for Japanese and Korean companies was more than twice as large as the increase of the Detroit 3.

According to Automotive News, Asian automakers last year accounted for 49.9 percent of all retail sales. The combined General Motors, Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler Group total slipped from 41.1 percent to 39.4 percent. Counting all sales, including fleet, the Asians' share was 45.6 percent last year, compared with 44.5 percent for the Detroit 3.

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