US auto imports reach nearly $150bn in 2012

For the third consecutive year, US automotive imports have increased from the previous year, but 2012 was at a much more accelerated pace. Imports of passenger vehicles increased by 20% in 2012 compared to just one year prior. In dollar value, auto imports totaled nearly $150bn last year. In fact, 6.5% of all imports into the US were passenger vehicles, up from 5.6% in 2011.

Why the increase, one might ask? The rise of auto imports stems from a variety of reasons, spanning from government stimulus programs to the improved stability of the US economy. Auto imports from Japan, South Korea, and Germany saw increases of over 20% in 2012. Roughly 17% of all auto imports passed through the Port of Detroit, while 8% passed through the Port of Los Angeles.

Approximately 30,000 metric tons of passenger vehicles are imported in a typical weekday into the US, equating to about 20,000 small-sized cars. That’s over 400,000 compact cars each month! With today’s largest cargo ships hauling up to 8,500 vehicles in a single voyage, auto imports are likely to continue rising in 2013. The graph below illustrates where auto imports originated in 2012.


Ti’s recent report, Global Automotive Logistics 2013, provides analysis of all the major trends, key players in the sector and opportunities available in the market. The report also provides a comprehensive examination of both production and sales markets for manufacturers and logistics providers, including illustrative maps of individual companies’ operations. Click here for more information regarding the report.

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