By DEE-ANN DURBIN
AP Auto Writer
DETROIT (AP) – U.S. consumers bought a record series of new cars and trucks in 2016. A repeat opening in 2017 could be a high order.
Low gas prices, rising practice and low seductiveness rates kept buyers entrance to automobile dealerships final year. There was also a captivate of new record – such as backup cameras, involuntary puncture braking and Apple CarPlay – and new vehicles like a Chrysler Pacifica minivan, a Honda Civic and a all-electric Chevrolet Bolt.
U.S. automobile sales totaled 17.55 million, violence a prior year’s record of 17.47 million, according to Autodata Corp. It was a seventh uninterrupted year of year-over-year sales gains, an rare string, pronounced Tom Libby, an researcher with a consulting organisation IHS Markit.
That fibre could be in jeopardy, however. The National Automobile Dealers Association expects U.S. sales to dump to 17.1 million vehicles in 2017 as seductiveness rates and automobile prices rise. Large numbers of cars entrance off leases will strike a used-car marketplace subsequent year, putting vigour on new automobile sales. And some-more buyers are opting for longer loans, so they won’t be returning to dealerships anytime soon.
Political issues could also impact sales. President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to levy a 35-percent tariff on vehicles done in Mexico and exported to a U.S., that would impact any vital automaker. But he also has betrothed some-more spending on infrastructure, that could boost pickup lorry sales.
“It is a year of unknowns,” pronounced Michelle Krebs, a comparison researcher with a automobile selling site Autotrader.com.
For now, though, a marketplace has plateaued during a high level. Nissan Motor Co.’s U.S. sales rose 5 percent in 2016 to some-more than 1.5 million, a association record. The Subaru code also set an annual record, with sales adult 6 percent to 615,132. Honda Motor Co.’s sales jumped 3 percent to some-more than 1.6 million. Hyundai Motor Co.’s sales rose 2 percent to 775,005. Ford Motor Co.’s sales were adult reduction than 1 percent to some-more than 2.6 million. Fiat Chrysler’s sales were prosaic during 2.2 million.
General Motors Co. pronounced a year-over-year sales were down 1.3 percent to only over 3 million cars and trucks. That was partly given a association cut behind on low-profit sales to rental-car firms. Toyota Motor Corp.’s full-year sales fell 2 percent to 2.4 million. Volkswagen brands sales forsaken 8 percent to 322,948, harm by a company’s diesel mileage intrigue scandal.
Here are some sum of 2016 sales:
WINNERS AND LOSERS: Ford’s F-Series pickup remained a best-selling automobile in America in 2016, with 820,799 trucks sold. That’s a homogeneous of 93 trucks sole any hour. The Toyota Camry was a best-selling car, notwithstanding a 9.5-percent drop in sales to 388,618. Jaguar saw a biggest sales boost of any brand, with sales some-more than doubling over 2015 interjection to a new XE sedan. Fiat Chrysler’s Italian brands, Fiat and Alfa Romeo, declined some-more than 20 percent any as business scratched tiny cars off their selling lists in preference of SUVs.
LUXURY CROWN: Mercedes-Benz hold onto a pretension as a top-selling oppulance brand. Mercedes sales were adult reduction than 1 percent to 374,541, circumference BMW and Lexus.
SUV TAKEOVER: Toyota’s U.S. sales chief, Bill Fay, pronounced consumers’ change from cars to SUVs is one of a many thespian a attention has ever seen. Three years ago, trucks and SUVs represented 50 percent of a U.S. market. They sealed 2016 during 63 percent of sum sales, and analysts don’t see that changing anytime soon. Boomers and Millennials both like a space SUVs offer and their aloft ride, and improvements in fuel economy make them rival with cars. The Honda CR-V was a best-selling SUV in a U.S. final year, with sales adult 3 percent to 357,335.
PILING ON THE DEALS: Incentive spending reached a record of $4,000 per automobile in Nov before descending a bit in December. Buyers were walking divided with thousands of dollars in reward money or financing deals. Autotrader pronounced Ford was charity as most as $13,000 off a C-Max plug-in hybrid in certain markets in December. But a deals can harm a attention in a prolonged term, given they repairs vehicles’ resale values and automakers’ profits. Automakers, heedful of relying too heavily on incentives to pierce vehicles, started slicing prolongation in a fall. Even with incentives, a normal sale cost of a automobile rose to $32,000, a record for December, LMC said.
DECEMBER TO REMEMBER: Holiday promotions and towering incentives increased sales 3 percent to 1.7 million, Autodata said. But even if sales had been prosaic compared to final December, 2016 would have damaged a record. Volkswagen’s sales jumped 20 percent over final December, while Subaru sales rose 12 percent. GM and Nissan both gained 10 percent. Honda’s sales rose 6 percent and Toyota’s rose 2 percent. The Nissan Rogue SUV was one of a month’s stars, with sales adult 53 percent as an updated chronicle strike a market.
AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher contributed to this report.
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