Third Consecutive Year for 17M+ Auto Sales

ESA Car Keys | Automotive Market Intel
December’s automotive market finished another solid year for the US automotive market, even though results were mixed and annual volume was down versus 2016.

With nearly 1.6M units sold in December — a SAAR pace of 17.8M units — the US Automotive Market finished the year at 17.13M units according to Wards Automotive. The final tally for 2017 was down 1.9% from 2016’s record sales of 17.46M vehicles.

The big stories for 2017?

1. Light-truck sales continue to dominate the market, accounting for almost two-thirds (64.5%) of all light vehicle sales for the year. In December, light trucks comprised 69% of total units sold.

2. Of the Big Six Automakers (GM, Ford, FCA, Toyota, Honda, Nissan), only Honda and Nissan — the 5th and 6th largest factories in volume — saw gains year-over-year. And those gains were small, with Nissan +1.9% and Honda essentially even at +0.2%.

3. Inventory levels were much leaner at year-end 2017 than 2016 for most brands, which is good news for dealers … but production volume of vehicles is slowing as the market turns the corner into 2018.

The biggest “share-grabbers” in the US market for 2017 were Audi, Subaru, and VW. Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia finished with the largest percentage declines, at -11.5% and -8.9%, respectively.



Your ESA Car Keys recap follows.


Wards Auto and NADA MarketBeat

  • December SAAR: 17.8 units
  • 2017 Units: 17.13M vehicles sold
  • 2017 Change: -1.9% vs 2016
  • 2017 Gainers (by Volume): Audi +7.8%, Subaru +5.3%, VW +5.2%, Nissan +1.9%, Honda +0.2%.
  • 2017 Laggards (by Volume): Hyundai -11.5%, Kia -8.9%, FCA -8.4%, BMW -3.4%, GM -1.4%, Ford -1.2%, Toyota -0.6%.

Be sure to visit NADA’s MarketBeat, or Wards Auto for more info on the US automotive market.

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*DSR: Daily Sales Rate. A more reliable indicator of the pace of auto sales which accounts for actual car-selling days per month.
*SAAR: Seasonally-Adjusted Annual Sales Rate.
SOURCES: Wards Automotive InfoBank, NADA MarketBeat, Automotive News.


Dave Eckstein, ESA & Company | Real. Local. Results: 2012Dave Eckstein is a Partner in the firm ESA & Company. He specializes in highly profitable market share growth for local businesses and gets a kick out of demonstrating a declining cost of customer acquisition. He plays baseball, but isn't that Dave Eckstein.

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