Ford Full-Year US Sales Down 1.1%; December Up

2017 Motor Trend SUV Of The Year Contenders And Finalists 03

2017 Motor Trend SUV Of The Year Contenders And Finalists 03

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. Dealer stock totaled 56 days of supply, down from 62 days in November and from 61 past year. Ram Truck sales were up year-over-year in 2017 versus 2016.

Analysts think sales will fall a bit further this year.

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.

A promising note for FCA in December was that Alfa Romeo sold 2,034 units were up significantly compared with the same month a year ago and recorded its strongest monthly sales of 2017 and actually outsold the Fiat brand.

Toyota Motor North America reported December sales dropped 8.3% from December 2016 on a volume basis. 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 largest USA automaker said its dealer inventories at the end of 2017 were about 752,554 units, down 90,000 from a year ago, or about 63 days' supply. Volkswagen's dropped 19 percent. Ford's Focus brand sales rose 9.7% to 11,237 units.

Subaru saw its December sales rise 5.4%, the 73rd consecutive month of increasing sales. Several automakers also experienced minor decreases in their sales despite the overall industry seeing a sales increase.

Hyundai and its Genesis luxury brand were up 2% in December, but down 12% for the full year. Toyota Prius hybrid sales plummeted 20.5 percent.

Mazda's sales were down 6.5% last month and its 2017 sales were off 2.8% versus 2016.

Research firm Autodata says 17.2 million vehicles were sold previous year.

Charlie Chesbrough, chief economist at Cox Automotive, owner of the Autotrader online vehicle market and Kelley Blue Book auto appraisal service, stated the group expects 2018 sales to hit 16.7 million units and increasing rate of interest are one of the industry's obstacles this year as they increase month-to-month vehicle payments.

Asked about how tax overhaul and some extra money in pockets might help the industry, Ford Vice President Mark LaNeve says it's hard to just yet but,"Early read from some of our dealers and big commercial accounts - there may be some positives in it in terms of the overall commercial aspects of the market, which would be great for us considering how strong we are in that part of the business". "That will keep the broad economy growing, and help keep sales at very healthy levels even as the Fed increases interest rates".

"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.

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