Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

US Auto Sales Dropped In 2017, But Remain Strong

US Auto Sales Dropped In 2017, But Remain Strong

Despite posting weaker sales in December, automakers sold a record 2.038 million new vehicles in Canada in 2017 as more drivers opted to purchase SUVs and trucks over passenger cars.

USA sales of new vehicles are expected to fall 2 percent to 17.1 million in 2017, according to Kelley Blue Book.

The three leaders in the U.S. market - General Motors, Ford and Toyota - all reported modest declines past year, compared with the sales records set in 2016. Fiat Chrysler's sales fell 8 percent.

Ford Motors published sales figures Wednesday showing it achieved total vehicle sales of 242,049 in December, a 0.9% increase from the same month a year earlier.

"I'm actually surprised the industry was as strong as it was, we had some pretty severe weather, bitterly cold in much of the country", Mark LaNeve, Ford's USA sales chief, said on a call with analysts and reporters.

Toyota Motor North America reported December sales dropped 8.3% from December 2016 on a volume basis.

- LUXURY CROWN: Mercedes-Benz's sales fell 1 percent to 337,246, but that was still enough to make it the top-selling luxury brand in the US for the second straight year. The company also set a new annual sales record of 226,511 vehicles, a jump of 7.8% compared with all of 2016.

The U.S. auto industry's historic growth streak may be ending, but demand for new cars and trucks remains healthy as the new year begins.

A few automakers say luxury sales have struggled.

Toyota's December sales fell 8.3 percent, as a 29.7 percent jump in sales of the new Camry sedan failed to offset declines across almost all other passenger auto models.

(F) said that U.S. Sales for the month of December 2017 rose 0.9% to 242,049 vehicles from 239,854 vehicles in the same month previous year.

Despite the usual year-end push to get vehicles out the door, most automakers endured tough sledding in December.

GM's overall December sales - retail and fleet - were down 3.3% and for the year, they fell 1.3% for the year.

At GM, Cadillac declined 28.6 percent and Chevrolet was down 2.9 percent. One reason is the trend of moving into SUVs and trucks continues.

Analysts think sales will fall a bit further this year. "This year, many consumers will see their take-home pay rise because of tax reform".

Industry sales in 2018 will probably drop again thanks in part to higher interest rates and greater availability of used sport utility vehicles.

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