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SUVs and Crossovers Saved 2017 for Automakers in the US

SUVs and Crossovers Saved 2017 for Automakers in the US

Even though Camry's sales for all of 2017 dropped 0.4 percent, it was the best-selling vehicle in the US for the 16th consecutive year.

USA auto sales fell 2 percent to 17.2 million in 2017, according to Autodata Corp. Sales totaled 2.587 million units compared with 2.615 million sold in 2016.

The company said it sold 17,654 vehicles in December, a drop of 6 percent compared to the year earlier.

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. Fiat Chrysler sales fell 11 percent while General Motors dropped 3.3 percent. Nissan's sales last year also came in at 1.6 million, a 1.9% increase from the prior year. The company also set a new annual sales record of 226,511 vehicles, a jump of 7.8% compared with all of 2016.

Despite the decline, the industry remains robust.

"This year, it'll be an even bigger year for trucks, because there are new ones coming", Michelle Krebs, an analyst with car-shopping website Autotrader, said on Bloomberg Television.

"It's still a buoyant industry and the underlying factors that drive it are still very positive", Ford's USA sales chief, Mark LaNeve, said.

More news: General Electric (GE) Position Decreased by Day & Ennis LLC

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.

-WINNERS AND LOSERS: Ford's F-Series pickup truck remained the best-selling vehicle in the U.S.in 2017, a title it has now held for 36 years. But most other automakers saw declines.

GM's overall December sales - retail and fleet - were down 3.3% and for the year, they fell 1.3% for the year. Ford saw a decline of 0.9 percent, and Toyota was down 0.6 percent. The GM plant in Oshawa is being repurposed to start producing GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverdo trucks starting this month.

And, the U.S. auto industry continues to enjoy strong demand for larger vehicles, including SUVs, pickup trucks and "crossover" models.

Analysts think sales will fall a bit further this year. Volkswagen's dropped 19 percent. "This year, many consumers will see their take-home pay rise because of tax reform".

Gomes does not expect sales in 2018 to surpass the past year's record, due in part to slightly softer employment growth, but said it will still be "a very good year, probably around the two-million unit mark once again".


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