An old Detroit saying has it that auto sales chiefs would shoot their mothers in the head for one-tenth of a point of market share.
That's pretty drastic, but let's see how those sweet, little old ladies would have fared in the first five months of 2004. In other words, what brands have gained U.S. market share this year?
Nissan Division is the champ with an increase of 1.0 percentage point. Gaining a full point in five months puts Nissan on track to add 2.4 points for the full year, a remarkable achievement indeed. To earn that point, Nissan's year-to-date U.S. sales rose 30.9 percent, or 80,750 units. Its market share was 4.9 percent for five months.
Second place went to Chevrolet, which added 0.5 point of market share. Next were Toyota, Chrysler and Pontiac, all up 0.4 percentage point, followed by GMC, Jeep and the new Scion brand with gains of 0.3 point.
Seven other brands added market penetration. Lexus, Mazda and Acura were at 0.2 percentage point, and Kia, Cadillac, Infiniti and Suzuki were plus 0.1.
The list of gainers was split this way: six from the Big 3 and nine from the import-badged entries.
To gain market share, a brand must outperform the market. The U.S. market was up 3.2 percent for January-May, so that was the benchmark.