Ford December US Sales Up 0.9%

Ford December US Sales Up 0.9%

Total retail sales fell 4% year over year in December to 176,164 units and fleet sales jumped 16.8% to 65,885 units.

The results put an end to the United States auto industry's eight-year streak of increases, as the national total slipped 1.5% to 17.23 million, according to Autodata.

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.

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. F-Series sales rose 9 percent for the year, in part because of post-hurricane demand in Texas and Florida. Sales dropped 5 percent to 1.6 million last month.

Record sales were also posted by nearly all luxury auto brands, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.

"It's good news in the sense that it highlights that the consumer is coming back to the market with soaring demands for crossovers, but it's also telling us that business investment is also strengthening, which is confirmed by a sharp improvement in pickup truck sales".

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

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.

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

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. But some luxury brands struggled.

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

Analysts think sales will fall a bit further this year.

(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. Ford's sales were up 1 percent in December as its new large SUVs hit the market, and Hyundai's sales rose 2 percent. Chevrolet was offering $11,000 off a 2017 Silverado pickup last month.

But GM said it expected the industry to sell less than 17 million new vehicles in 2018.

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