Automakers are awakening from their holiday slumbers with full-year sales data for 2020. It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic had a massive impact on global auto sales last year, but just about every player in the market reported improvement in the second half of what amounted to a tumultuous and unpredictable 12 months for the industry at large.
Here in the States, some automakers even bucked previous reporting schedules to share good news late in the year, and from what we’re seeing so far, those blips turned into trends. While holiday sales were likely depressed somewhat by the general economic climate and the return of lockdown mandates in some parts of the country, the final quarter of 2020 appears as though it delivered mostly good news for the U.S. industry.
GM is the headliner, reporting a nearly 5% improvement in the 4th quarter compared to 2019, but even that wasn’t enough to overcome its full-year slide. Since
GM only reports sales quarterly, there is limited granularity to its figures, but it’s no secret that the bulk of GM’s 11.8-percent drop in volume came largely in the first two quarters. Transitioning to production of the new
GMC Yukon and
Cadillac Escalade also cost GM some sales, as all three showed signs of strength in the 4th quarter despite slumping the rest of the year. Highlights for 2020 include the
Chevy Bolt (up 26.4%), the
Blazer (up 62.8%) and virtually every truck the company sells under either the Chevy or
GMC banners, though the
Silverado 1500 series actually fell short of its 2019 volume; GMC’s Sierra variants, however, were up across the board.
CX-5, which remains a relatively strong seller despite a bit of a slowdown in 2020. The only existing nameplates to improve last year were the Miata (up 13.6%) and the
CX-9 (up 2.9%). The company’s new
CX-30 crossover is already making its mark as well, making up for poor showings by the aging