Wednesday, 25 April, 2018


Sales of large cars remain bright spot in slowing U.S. auto market

2017 Ford F-150 Limited 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
Kristine Garrett | 12 January, 2018, 22:40

Four million vehicles were leased in 2015, according to Edmunds.com, and many of those customers will be trading in their vehicles for new ones.

But leasing also has a downside for automakers, since the influx of late-model used cars returning to the market will cut into sales of new vehicles. They will likely stimulate demand, particularly for commercial trucks and vans.

"F-Series had an unbelievable year as we sold almost 900,000 pickups, with strong high-end truck demand as customers continue to opt for our latest technology and equipment packages", LaNeve added.

For perspective, Ford sold more than twice as many large pickups as the total of all Ford passenger cars sold in the month, 44,871.

Toyota saw U.S. sales drop 0.6% to 2.4 million, but the company highlighted strength in its popular Camry sedan, the RAV4 crossover and SUVs.

Kia's monthly sales dipped 20.1% in December while its full year results were down as well by 8.9%.

"December capped off a record year for Ford brand SUVs, making it eight consecutive years of Ford brand sales leadership".

Most major automakers on Wednesday reported lower December US sales and forecast weaker overall sales in 2018, but investors bid up shares in the sector on a bet that high-margin pickup trucks and SUVs will pull Detroit's automakers through any downturn. Across its five brands, fleet sales in December were down 42 percent from a year earlier, the company said.

But GM said it expected the industry to sell less than 17 million new vehicles in 2018. At the same time, automakers piled on deals in order to juice sales and hang on to their market share. Honda division saw its sales drop last month by 6.3%, but came in with a 0.7% jump for all of 2017.

- DECEMBER DIP: No one was expecting USA auto sales to top December 2016, which was the best single month in 15 years. 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. GM reported a less dramatic monthly drop than analysts expected, as sales of the Chevrolet Silverado climbed 25%.

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

Sales at Toyota's Lexus brand fell 13.9 percent.

Meanwhile, as the Canadian government continues to look at ways to increase electric-vehicle adoption, GM's electric vehicles account for a small portion of its overall sales.

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