Car brands in the United States - statistics & facts
In an October 2022 survey, U.S. consumers highlighted product quality, vehicle features, and vehicle performance as the most important factors when choosing the brand of their next vehicle. Purchase intentions remained stable in the country—Around half of the respondents to a March 2023 survey reported planning to buy a car within the following year, including nearly a quarter of them expecting to purchase a new car. However, despite high overall car brand satisfaction, 47 percent of U.S. car drivers from this March 2023 survey reported being likely or very likely to change the brand of their primary vehicle for their next car purchase. Consumer loyalty is one of the many factors influencing the U.S. light vehicle market to become increasingly competitive for automakers. Limited vehicle selection and higher-than-expected prices due to the semiconductor shortage and rising raw material prices have further impacted car buyers’ experience. Ford, the eponymous brand of the third-largest automotive manufacturer in the country, recorded a drop in overall customer satisfaction between 2021 and 2022. Depleting stocks and higher prices are, therefore, impacting customers and car manufacturers.
Competition in a diverse market
Worth over 75.9 billion U.S. dollars as of 2022, Tesla ranked first as the most valuable brand within the automotive sector worldwide, surpassing Toyota and Ford—the U.S. market leader. Ford, worth just over 13.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, held around 12.77 percent of the U.S. light vehicle market shares during the first quarter of 2023. Ford was also the best-selling brand in the country in December 2022, followed by Toyota. While Tesla’s December 2022 sales volume was over three times less than Ford’s and Toyota’s, the brand took the lead in the luxury vehicle market in 2022. This was the first year Tesla reached first place in this ranking, edging out BMW. BMW came in sixth in terms of U.S. consumer satisfaction index score in 2022, three points behind Tesla and seven points behind Lexus—the leading brand for consumer satisfaction. Buick, a division of the U.S.-based General Motors, was the brand recording the best initial quality in the U.S. as of May 2022, followed by Dodge and Chevrolet.
Asian brands held most of the market in the first quarter of 2023, with Toyota, Honda, and Nissan among the five brands with the most market shares. In contrast, European brands were becoming less popular outside the luxury market. Mercedes-Benz, the European brand with the largest U.S. sales in 2022, held around 2.06 percent of the market in the first quarter of 2023, compared to Ford’s 12.77 percent.
Impact of supply chain disruptions on the market
In March 2022, Ford and General Motors reported halting production at two Michigan manufacturing plants due to the automotive semiconductor shortage. The United States auto industry inventory-to-sale ratio nosedived in April 2020 and reached record low levels in 2022 due to the depleted semiconductor stock and rising raw material prices. Price inflation did not just impact vehicle supply. The average new vehicle prices rose for many manufacturers between December 2021 and 2022, with Ford recording an increase of nearly 6,000 U.S. dollars. Though electric vehicle manufacturers such as Rivian and Tesla were not as impacted by price inflation, an increased demand for electric vehicles puts pressure on this sector. Tight supply also remained an issue for many European and Asian brands, including Toyota, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. The popularity of American brands in the U.S. market could be linked to their more extensive vehicle inventory as of June 2022.
In North America, a slow recovery of automobile sales is expected to be recorded through 2023 without reaching pre-pandemic levels. Global forecasts come to a similar conclusion, suggesting further disruptions in the U.S. market and for U.S. automakers worldwide.
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