Japanese Car Makers Comeback

Observing the auto industry is much like watching the ocean. It’s massive, constantly in motion, with a penchant for unexpected rogue waves. The vigorous performance of the US auto sector year-to-date, with May tallies hitting an annual sales rate of 13.8 million units, continues to lead a perilous economic recovery.

And while companies like GM, Ford, and Chrysler have been making news with their comeback stories, the next big wave, to use an unfortunate analogy, is coming from Japanese auto makers.

While the top May sales gains – Toyota: 87%, Honda: 47%, and Suburu 48% – were partly making up for earthquake and sunami related product shortages in 2012, there’s plenty of muscle in the Japanese car industry.

Indeed Nissan, which saw 20% sales gains last month, maybe the stealth favorite in the comeback.

For example, the just restyled 2013 Nissan Altama, already the best selling car in 2011, is poised for a home-strech run. Sporting a fresh new smooth and sensuous exterior, a premium feel interior, with lots of technology and convenience amenities, the new Altima comes with two engine choices: a robust V6 boasting 30 highway MPG and a smart 2.5 liter 4 cylinder rated at 38 highway MPG.