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New car sales in the U.S. started the year performing well, but automotive market analysts expect overall sales to remain rather flat year-over-year in 2018.
Although the official figures for U.S. car sales in January 2018 are yet to be published, the industry is said to have performed quite well in the beginning of the year, driven by higher incentives to consumers. However, the selling rate is expected to decline and remain rather flat for the rest of the year, with online car sales specialist, Edmunds, even projecting a -1.4% decline in 2018.
Cox Automotive, LMC/J.D. Power and Edmunds forecast U.S. sales at 1.1 million units for the month of January 2018. As for the annual figures, while Cox and LMC/J.D. Power forecast total sales at 17.1 million, Edmunds is less optimistic at 16.7 million units. Nevertheless, both forecasts are lower than the total registered in January 2017, at 17.43 million.
The colder than usual temperatures across the country are said to have kept buyers indoors, and the recent cyclone faced by the East Coast is also expected to have an impact on January’s figures.
Although volumes are expected to remain flat, analysts say customers are buying more expensive vehicles, driven by continued demand for higher-priced pickups and SUVs.
Source: Automotive News