New car and light truck sales are up again in 2016. The final tally for 2016 was reportedly 17,539,052 cars and light trucks, more than 56,000 over the 2015 record, marking a seventh straight year for new car and light truck sales increases– the longest streak in the United States since 1909-1917.
A major contributor to the sales increases was a strong December. The December volume increases for some major manufacturers are reportedly:
- GM up 10% (Chevrolet 13%, GMC 5.8%, Cadillac 3.2%, Buick 2.8%)
- Nissan up 9.7% (8.3% Nissan, 21% Infiniti)
- Honda up 4.8% (6.9% Honda, 1.9% Acura)
- Toyota up 2% (2.6% Toyota, -0.5% Lexus)
- Ford up .1% (-0.8% Ford, 18% Lincoln)
However, December wasn’t free from volume declines, with some major manufacturers reporting the following drops in volume:
- Fiat Chrysler down 10% (-10% FCA US, -6% Jeep, -34% Fleet, 10% Ram)
- Mazda down -1.8%
- Kia down -0.2%
- Mini down -7%
Among other brands, Kia, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Subaru, Audi and Porsche reportedly set annual U.S. sales records in 2016.
2016 also reportedly marked another increase in market volume for light trucks, led by crossovers. In fact, Nissan reported that its Rogue surpassed the Altima sedan in 2016 in sales volume.
What to the sales increases mean? Likely strengthening consumer confidence, as well as an increase in the overall number of “lemon” vehicles.
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