Remember when Toyota and Honda were the darlings of the auto industry? When their reputations were flawless, their vehicles were rock-solid and their sales numbers consistently ranked at the top of monthly lists?
I remember those days, too. They were, like, six months ago.
Today the automotive landscape looks much different. The once laughable American Big 3 have seen huge gains. Toyota and Honda have fallen off their thrones, and Hyundai Group just might be poised to take the top spot.
Is this a brief interruption in the regularly scheduled domination of the Japanese, or have the tables shifted to allow the U.S. and Korean automakers some time at the top?
Time will tell. For now Chrysler (aka the FIAT Group), General Motors and Ford reported increased sales of 23 percent, 16 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Honda sales are down 6 percent, and Toyota’s fell by 8 percent. While Chrysler/FIAT may appear to be a big winner, Hyundai became the king of the first 8 months of 2011 by racking up an additional 29 percent in sales compared to the same time period last year.
Keep reading for a comparison of other automakers and to see which are thriving and which are hurting.
While these sales numbers certainly reflect the factory shutdowns in Japan caused by the March earthquake, I have to wonder if we’re seeing the beginning of a new trend here.
Will Hyundai become the next Honda? Will Toyota become like the old GM?