According to Autodata Corp, which tracks industry sales, the seasonally adjusted annualised rate (SAAR) of U.S. vehicle and light truck sales in December fell to 17.9 million units from 18.2 million in December 2016.
Research firm Autodata says 17.2 million vehicles were sold previous year.
Carmakers capped their first year of shrinking USA sales since the recession on a high note, with surging truck demand buoying General Motors Co. and carrying Ford Motor Co.to a surprise gain.
"The numbers point to further decline", said Fleming, who is projecting vehicle sales to fall to 16.7 million this year. For the year, Nissan reported total calendar year sales in the US of 1,593,464 units, an increase of 1.9% over the prior year, setting an all-time record.
Toyota Motor North America reported December sales dropped 8.3% from December 2016 on a volume basis. Nissan's 2017 sales also came in at 1.6 million, a 1.9 percent increase from the prior year. The company also set a new annual sales record of 226,511 vehicles, a jump of 7.8% compared with all of 2016. "That typically isn't great for vehicle shopping, but the industry ran really strong in the last 10 days" of the month.
Analysts predict new auto sales will decline even more this year. But some luxury brands struggled. But most other automakers saw declines.
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(F) said that U.S. Sales for the month of December 2017 rose 0.9% to 242,049 vehicles from 239,854 vehicles in the same month past year.
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's December sales fell 8.3 percent, as a 29.7 percent jump in sales of the new Camry sedan failed to offset declines across almost all other passenger auto models.
GM's overall December sales - retail and fleet - were down 3.3% and for the year, they fell 1.3% for the year. One reason is the trend of moving into SUVs and trucks continues. Chevrolet was offering $11,000 off a 2017 Silverado pickup last month. SUV sales fell 12% year over year in December. Volkswagen's dropped 19 percent. Low unemployment and rising consumer confidence are expected to boost demand this year. "That will keep the broad economy growing, and help keep sales at very healthy levels even as the Fed increases interest rates", Mohatarem added.
Gomes does not expect sales in 2018 to surpass the past year's record, due in part to slightly softer employment growth, but said it will still be "a very good year, probably around the two-million unit mark once again".