New Vehicle Sales Sputter in December

Postado Janeiro 12, 2018

But the automaker stated it anticipates the industry to sell lower than 17 million new vehicles in this year.

General Motors, Toyota and Ford all reported a 1 percent declines in sales a year ago compared to 2016. Fiat Chrysler reported a decline of 8 percent compared with 2016.

Total Ford SUV sales rose 8% year over year in December, with the Explorer seeing a gain of 33.3% and the Edge gaining 7.6%.

The largest US automaker said its dealer inventories at the end of 2017 were about 752,554 units, down 90,000 from a year ago, or about 63 days' supply. And, while GM's total sales across 2017 were 1% lower than 2016, that is likely to be a better end result than the industry average which is now forecast to be a 2% drop in 2017 from 2016.

Truck sales dipped 1% for the month, and sales of F-Series pickups increased by 2.1%. Consumers like the extra storage space, higher seating position and improved fuel economy of car-based SUVs, also called crossovers. That would be the first year-over-year decline since 2009, ending an unprecedented seven-year expansion.

Total monthly sales compare to an estimate of 232,000 by analysts Kelley Blue Book (KBB), who also estimated an average transaction price of $40,421, up 2.5% year over year and up 1% compared with November's average selling price of $40,023.

"In 2017, we had solid GDP growth and good news on employment, wages and consumer sentiment, which helped deliver very strong retail sales for the auto industry", G.M. chief economist Mustafa Mohatarem said.

Ford says, even with bitter temperatures and snow, it saw strong sales in the last 10 days of December.

Some automakers did not manage to post annual sales increases, including FCA, Hyundai and smart. But most other automakers saw declines.

Ford's light vehicle deliveries rose 1.3% last month as its F-Series pickup line had its best year since 2005.

Analysts think sales will fall a bit further this year.

Sales at Toyota's Lexus brand fell 13.9 percent. Honda division saw its sales drop last month by 6.3%, but came in with a 0.7% jump for all of 2017.

GM also published its December sales figures Wednesday, which showed total sales were 2% up on the same month in 2016.

- PILING ON THE DEALS: New vehicle prices hit a record past year, averaging $36,113 as buyers bought bigger SUVs and added more safety and infotainment features, Kelley Blue Book said.