WSJ U.S. Auto Market Chart Shows GM Dominates Long-Term

To many drivers, it might seem like conflicting reports make it unclear who’s really getting the lion’s share of the U.S. auto market, but the Wall Street Journal paints a much clearer picture of market share in the U.S. auto industry. The WSJ publishes a monthly “U.S. Market” chart, and though June’s is ready to get added onto, the current chart shows that, absent some big change, some parts of this equation are likely to stay as they are.

The biggest takeaway from the WSJ U.S. Market research is that General Motors tends to stay on top. An annual ticker from each May from 2001-2011 shows market share for five top companies: Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Toyota and Honda. GM stays above the pack for the entire ten years, though there’s a clear downward trend that, given its current path, would converge in a couple of years.

A chart for the 2010-2011 year evaluates the same five companies – here, a dip in March brings GM’s numbers slightly below Ford’s market share, but besides that, Gm stays in first place.

This information makes it all the more important to really know what you’re getting into when you’re buying a GM/Chevrolet vehicle at your local dealership. Recently, we reported on how the GMAC company, a traditional captive finance company for General Motors, changed into Ally Bank. Previously, many customers were used to making direct deals for auto financing with GMAC. Now, the process may be slightly different. In addition to knowing your credit, scouring the market for good interest rates, and knowing your trade-in value, it’s a good idea to make a couple of phone calls and see who you will be dealing with in financing directly from the manufacturer, if you tend to go this route for a GM/Chevrolet purchase this year. Making these kinds of direct relationships with third party lenders (meaning lenders other than your local dealer) can help put money back in your pocket when you go to buy a new or used car, particularly in today’s market where a combination of high sticker prices and wary lenders can end up loading up the borrower’s plate with auto loan debt.