Truck boom helps domestic auto companies gain market share

Trucks and American brands have dominated U.S. auto sales through the first half of this year.

Ford’s F-Series truck remains the bestselling vehicle in America and will likely hold that top spot yet again this year after building a 125,000-vehicle lead over the next bestseller, the Chevrolet Silverado, during the first half of 2013.

Thanks to the need to replace aging fleets in the recovering housing and construction industries, trucks made up three of the five bestselling vehicles so far this year.

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That’s a big reason why the domestic automakers picked up more than a full percentage point of market share, accounting for 46.1% of auto sales during the first half of the year, according to Autodata Corp. That came mostly at the expense of the Asian brands, which shrank to 44.7% of the market. The Europeans pretty much held steady, accounting for 9.2% of sales.

Trucks and sport utilities climbed to 49% of auto sales from 47.4% during the first half of last year.

Through the first six months of this year, automakers have sold a little more than 7.8 million vehicles, a 7.7% gain from the same period a year earlier.

Ford Motor Co. was the fastest-growing U.S. automaker, logging a 13.1% gain. Subaru had the biggest growth among the Asian brands, 24.5%. Mercedes-Benz and BMW are again locked in a tight battle for the luxury crown with Toyota’s Lexus trailing in third place. 

Here’s a look at the 10 bestselling vehicles through the first half: Ford F-Series, 367,486; Chevrolet Silverado, 242,586; Toyota Camry, 207,626; Honda Accord, 186,860; Dodge Ram, 170,319; Nissan Altima, 167,787; Ford Fusion, 161,146; Toyota Corolla, 158,972; Honda Civic, 158,704; and the Ford Escape, 156,626.


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