While it may come as no surprise that Asian car companies are constantly gaining market share in the U.S. market, the actual numbers are quite amazing. Ten years ago, companies like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and the rest accounted for a little more than one-quarter of total light-vehicle sales in the States. By 2005, that figure stood at 36.6 percent. By 2007? 41.9 percent. In 2009, Asian automakers sold a full 47.9 percent of the cars and light trucks we Americans bought.
These numbers come from the latest report by Ward's Auto. Perhaps predictably, that same dispatch tells us that American automakers were hurt the most by those Asian gains. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were once part of an American auto industry that accounted for nearly 70 percent of sales in 1999. The Detroit Three had just a 44.8 percent market share a decade later. The European automakers have also gained a bit in the U.S. over the past decade. Still, they only account for 7.3 percent of the market right now.
If the Japanese and Korean manufacturers post gains for 2010 that are similar to the 2009 increases, they will pass the 50 percent mark for the first time in history. Individually, companies like Toyota have fared the best, nearly doubling their slice of the American pie, going from 8.7 to 17 percent since 1999. While Ford shared the biggest gain last year compared to 2008, they were also one of the decade's biggest losers, dropping 8.3 percent. Maybe last year's gain is a sign of recovery for the domestic automakers, but the troubles at GM and Chrysler don't bode well for the group. Check out the full breakdown by clicking the Ward's source link below.