General Motors pickups, as well as SUVs, helped drive strong year-end sales.  -  IMAGE: General Motors

General Motors pickups, as well as SUVs, helped drive strong year-end sales.

IMAGE: General Motors

Automakers reporting monthly sales results enjoyed gains to end the year, most in the double digits, as inventories improved across the industry.

Despite market pressures in inflation and rising interest rates, sales were robust at most reporting brands.

General Motors took back the title of the best-selling carmaker in the U.S. for the year as it saw a 41% year-over-year U.S. sales increase in its fourth quarter to more than 623,000 units. Full-year sales were up 3% to 2.3 million. Pickup and SUV sales were strong drivers of the growth, at 1.1 million.

Asian carmakers posted strong December sales. Hyundai and Mazda December sales rose 40% year-over-year, making for Hyundai’s best-ever December sales total. Hyundai’s quarterly sales rose 29% year-over-year for a fourth-quarter record. Its full-year sales fell 2%. Mazda’s full-year sales also dropped, by 11%.

Kia’s December sales were up 25%, besting its previous December record set in 2016 by 11%. It reported its best-ever fourth-quarter results, up 1.7% over the old 2021 record.

Toyota had the smallest sales increase, up 3.5% year-over-year in December. Its fourth-quarter numbers rose 13% year-over-year.

Other carmakers still issuing monthly sales figures or reporting fourth-quarter results this month will release their numbers later this week.

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