US Auto Market More Competitive Than Ever

The competition among car-makers in the US auto market is tighter than ever, according to a new analysis.

The competition among car-makers in the US auto market is tighter than ever, according to a new analysis.

The finding, by IHS Automotive, found the range of market share between the 8 largest auto makers has dropped from a 25.9 percentage point gap in 2000 to a 14.3 percentage point gap in the current calendar year.

The major change seems to be an end of the dominance of General Motors and Ford. The 2 auto-makers remain atop the market share list but GM’s share has dropped from 28.2% to 17.6%, while Ford’s has fallen from 24.1% to 14.7%, just above Toyota.

Of the other 6 car companies on the list, only Chrysler, now known as FCA, saw its share decline. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, and Volkswagen all have increased market share since 2000, IHS found.

Tom Libby, solutions consultant at IHS Automotive, said no car-maker wants to slip in the rankings, thus “each is doing everything possible to retain each tenth of a point share; including speeding up product redesign or launch programs, while opting to avoid risky product programs that could cause disruption in their product portfolio.”

Libby said the competition is good for consumers, as it causes downward price pressure. In turn, that downward price pressure causes more people to buy cars, which ultimately helps the car companies, as well.

Even if car-makers don’t like the new, more competitive landscape, IHS’ research suggests they had better get used to it. The research firm says it expects little change in the rankings over the next several years, with GM and Ford likely to retain the top 2 slots for the foreseeable future.