Many people put off buying cars during the recession and their aging vehicles need to be replaced. As credit is cheap and the economy slowly recovers, sales are increasing. In December this year the big 3 American automakers saw a 5% increase in sales, a bit better than analysts had predicted. Compared with the previous December, GM sales increased by 5%, while Ford sales increased just 2%. The winner was Chrysler with a sales increase of 10%. Toyota increased sales by 8%. For the year, Toyota had a large increase of about 27% compared to just 3.7% for GM, 4.7% for Ford, and 21% for Chrysler. Consulting firm Polk, expects sales to continue increasing in 2013 to 15.3 million vehicles or a nearly 7% increase. Jonathan Browning, who is with Volkswagen in the US, warned however:
"It would have been nice if all the open questions had been resolved in the 'fiscal cliff' discussion over the holiday, but clearly they weren't, and that does extend this period of uncertainty from a consumer point of view."In Canada, Ford Motor Co. of Canada was the top seller for the third straight year. Chrysler, however, with many fuel-efficient cars was able to become number two, replacing GM. Even though it is number one, Ford sold only 90 more vehicles last year than the year before. In December, sales actually slipped 13 % from 2011. Chrysler reported its sales rose 8% putting it in second place. Reid Bigland, CEO, of Chrysler Canada said:
"Our investment in fuel-efficient new vehicles and power trains has propelled us to be the number two seller.".For the year, Chrysler car sales rose 33%. The Chrysler group is controlled by Fiat of Italy. Bigland predicted another good year for Chrysler in 2013.