Animated chart of the day: Market shares of US auto sales, 1961 to 2018 | American Enterprise Institute


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Carpe Diem

June 28, 2019

Here’s another animated “bar chart race” visualization showing annual market shares for US vehicle sales from 1961 to 2018. Notice the following:

1. The dominance of the Big Three (GM, Ford and Chrysler) – they had a combined market share of above 85% through the 1960s and above 90% in one year (1965). Even through most of the 1990s, the Big Three’s market share was above 70% and they didn’t go below 50% market share until 2008. Ford and GM sales combined represented more than 50% of US car sales in every year until 2001, and subsequently fell below 33.33% for the first time in 2012. By 2018, the combined market share of the Big Three fell to an all-time low of 44.2%.

2. VW had the biggest market share of the foreign automakers in the 1960s and 1970s rising to a peak share of 5.6% in 1970. By the late 1970s, Toyota sold more cars in the US than any foreign producer and its market share rose from 3% in 1976 to above 10% for the first time in 2002 before peaking at nearly 17% in 2009. By 2018, Toyota’s market share had fallen to below 14%.


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