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2015 a banner year for auto sales

Posted on Monday, January 4, 2016 at 10:26:00 AM

With the page officially turned on 2015, auto makers are busy tallying their numbers for a year that almost certainly surpassed the record 17.4 million sales set in 2000. According to the New York Times, consumer demand, historically low interest rates and affordable gas prices have driven the sky high numbers. Analysts expect that 2015 will set a new high of 17.5 million vehicles sold. 

Fifteen years ago, when the old record was set, the auto industry looked very different than it does today. In 2000, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, and Ford Motor made up two-thirds of all American sales. Their hold on the market has since fallen off. By the Times' account, the three Detroit auto makers maintained just 45 percent of all sales.

Downsizing following the financial crisis is largely the cause of the market shift, which had major brands like Jaguar and Land Rover sold off. But that isn't to say American autos aren't seeing success. Far from it. Pickup trucks and luxury vehicles led the charge toward profitability, while the International Business Times reported that small utility vehicles are being purchased at five times the rate seen in 2000 as drivers turn to auto financing as an affordable means of purchasing their favorite autos.