We’re a few months into the New Year, and this seems like a good time to reflect on 2013. More specifically reflect on the how well the auto industry did last year. For starters, the industry sold over 15 million vehicles last year, the highest it’s been since 2007. The 15 million vehicles sold last year is a 50% increase from the low point of the recession in 2009, when vehicle sales hit a record low of 10.5 million. According to Bloomberg; General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles were able to increase their collective market share to 45.3% compared to 45.1% for the Asian car makers and 9.6% for European brands. But whether the car maker is foreign or domestic, an increase in automotive sales is a good sign for the economy as a whole.
The auto industry also filed 4,275 new international patents in 2013. That’s an 18% increase over the year before and an 84% increase from just three years prior. While Toyota led the pack with the most internationally filed patents with 1,696, General Motors filed the most U.S. patents with 1,672.This increase in patents is due to new technologies to make cars more fuel efficient, entertaining and safer. The increase in automotive patents indicates a larger trend across all industries. As new technology becomes available, it is important for companies to protect their new ideas. This increase in automotive sales as well as the increase in patents lends experts to believe that we will see a 5.8% increase in U.S. auto sales.