2011 was a dynamic year for the U.S. automotive industry led by an increase in demand for new vehicles that resulted in a market-wide sales increase for the second consecutive year.
At an OEM level we saw the continued rebound of General Motors and Chrysler Group post-bankruptcy as well as significant strides in market share by Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen. At a segment level, elevated gas prices and a blitzkrieg of model launches drove interest in compact cars, particularly during the 1st half of the year. Lastly, at a model level, Leaf and Volt became household names and a slew of hybrid models debuted as OEMs continued to lessen the dependence on foreign oil in the midst of discussion over new federal MPG targets. Unfortunately, not all news was positive in 2011 as Japanese OEMs were dealt a devastating blow from the March earthquake and tsunami that severely impacted inventory and marketing efforts.
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