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Local automakers sign off on 2012 sales

O.C.-based brands report national figures for December, annual sales

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: January 07, 2013 03:30 PM

Orange County’s five major auto brands have reported total vehicle sales for December and the full 2011 calendar year. Overall, three local automakers reported positive gains for the month, while the two others marked declines.

Sales are up for Costa Mesa-based Hyundai Motor America, both for December and overall sales for 2012. On the monthly side, sales rose to 59,435 vehicles rolled off the lots in December, a 17 percent increase over the same month in 2011. For the full year of 2012, total sales rose by 9 percent over the previous year, amounting to 703,007 vehicles. Hyundai’s two most popular vehicles, the Sonata and Elantra, set the brand’s sales record at 230,605 vehicles (up 2 percent from 2011), and 202,304 vehicles (up 8 percent from 2011). Both cars are also listed among the top 10 best retail-sales models for 2012 for the entire industry.

Kia Motors America, headquartered in Irvine, reported that the company had surpassed its best-ever full year sales for 2012 in less than 11 months. Total auto sales for 2012 came to 557,599 vehicles, beating the previous record set in 2011 by 14.9 percent. In December, sales amounted to 39,178 vehicles, a decrease of 10.8 percent from the same period in 2011. The month-over-month decrease in sales puts an end to the automaker’s streak of monthly sales records, which concluded with 27 consecutive months of highest recorded monthly sales.

Sales reports from Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations are likewise improved, with December’s sales total coming to 27,251, a 21.9 increase over the same month in 2011, and the company’s best December on record since 1994. Last year also marked the company’s best full calendar year of sales since 2007, and second-best year since 1994, with total national sales figures amounting to 277,046 vehicles. The figure beats 2011’s total annual sales by 10.6 percent. The Mazda3 was the most popular model for the brand, which comprised 37.8 percent of December sales and 44.5 percent of sales for the full year. Mazda3 models equipped with the new SkyActiv Technology comprised 69.3 percent of total annual Mazda3 sales.

Mitsubishi Motors North America, headquartered in Cypress, reported a dip in December sales, with a total of 4,113 vehicles sold during the month. The number is an 18 percent decrease from the same month in 2011. The company reported that its Outlander Sport had a bright month, with the model selling 1,770 vehicles, a15.4 percent increase over December 2011. The automaker did not release its annual sales figures.

Brea-based American Suzuki Motor Corporation reported its December and annual sales ahead of the automaker wrapping up its U.S. automotive sales unit. Total annual sales amounted to 25,358 vehicles, a 5 percent dip from the year before, with December sales coming in at 1,946 units. December’s sales were down 24.1 percent from the same month in 2011. The declining figures are due to final shipments of vehicles being allocated to dealerships. The announcement came on Nov. 5 that the Japanese automaker would discontinue automotive sales in the U.S., with the goal of redirecting its focus on the brand’s Motorcycle/ATV and Marine products divisions.

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