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Ford December US Sales Up 0.9%

12 January 2018

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.

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

Carmakers capped their first year of shrinking USA sales since the recession on a high note, with surging truck demand buoying General Motors Co. and carrying Ford Motor a surprise gain.

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

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Sales of the Ford F-Series pickups rose 2.1% year over year in December to 89,385 units, and F-Series transaction prices rose $3,400 year over year to $47,800.

Toyota posted an 8.3% decrease in December sales, in line with analyst estimates, while Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. trailed projections with declines of 9.5% and 7%, respectively. Nissan's 2017 sales also came in at 1.6 million, a 1.9 percent increase from the prior year. But the influx of late-model used cars coming back on the market could also cut into sales of new vehicles.

While overall results were unimpressive, sales of trucks and sport utility vehicles remained robust at year end.

Despite the decline, analysts note that sales above 17 million is still very strong.

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"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", said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM's chief economist.

Ford shares are trading in the green Wednesday, as are GM shares, as both vehicle makers announced upbeat sales in the final month of 2017. Sales were down overall, with only a few automakers posting gains. The company's Acura luxury division fell 12.2% in December and 4.2% for the full year.

Ford's light vehicle deliveries rose 1.3% last month as its F-Series pickup line had its best year since 2005. But most other automakers saw declines. Chevrolet was offering $11,000 off a 2017 Silverado pickup last month.

- PILING ON THE DEALS: New vehicle prices hit a record previous year, averaging $36,113 as buyers bought bigger SUVs and added more safety and infotainment features, Kelley Blue Book said. Fiesta sales fell by 3% and Fusion sales fell 8.8% year over year.

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"Average transaction prices closed the year on a strong note, rising almost 2% in December 2017 to set a record high", said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

Ford December US Sales Up 0.9%