Annual auto sales reached 17.13 million vehicles in December, according to WardsAuto, making it the third year in a row the industry has topped 17 million, but breaking the industry’s growth streak. It was the first time annual sales declined since the recession eight years ago.
Actual December sales were reported as 1.596 million units by WardsAuto. Truck sales took 69 percent of the market in December, and nearly two-thirds of the year’s total sales.
GM economist Mustafa Mohatarem forecasts U.S. auto sales will be in the upper 16 million range for 2018. He predicts tax reform gains will be offset by rising interest rates. Other manufacturers play down the impact of interest rates, banking on consumers seeing more money in their monthly checks and taking advantage of dealer incentives. IHS Markit projects sales of 16.9 million vehicles for this year.
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