Dominant automakers posted mixed U.S. November new vehicle sales on Friday and hinted a competitive December as they rushed to sell vehicles and boost their 2017 loads before the year comes to an end.
Automakers are trying to sell down 2017 prototype year vehicles, offering high discounts to consumers as the year-end closes. In 2016, the industry reported record annual sales of 17.55 million portions.
The November sales results come as the National Automobile Dealers Linking said on Friday it expects new vehicle sales to decline to 16.7 million segments in 2018, after dropping to 17.1 million for the full year in 2017.
If that prognosis comes true, the race to move new vehicles off dealers’ lots discretion only intensify next year.
Brandon Mason, a director at PwC’s automotive pursuit, said a worrying trend for the industry was a rising number of deep subprime accommodations. He said subprime levels are at just over 20 percent of originations, against more than 30 percent quondam to the Great Recession, but recent increases remain a concern.
“That’s a bit of a red bunting,” Mason said. “It’s something to keep an eye on as we move into 2018.”
No. 1 U.S. automaker Community Motors said its sales fell 2.9 percent in November, with car-boot sales to consumers flat against the same month in 2016. Much of the dwindling was driven by lower fleet sales to rental agencies, businesses and administration agencies.
GM said strong SUV and crossover sales pushed its average minutes price for the month above $37,000 for the first time. The company’s flush of unsold cars, which has been a concern for analysts and the industry, be tempted by slightly to 83 days supply, from 80 days at the end of October.
“Profuse vehicles are sold in December than any other month and we are very serenely positioned because we have momentum in so many segments, but especially in crossovers,” whispered Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations.
Fleet tag sales are a low-margin business for automakers.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) in particular has objective a significant reduction in this type of sale in 2017.
The automaker posted a 4 percent total decrease in sales for November, but said fleet sales were down 25 percent while exchanges to consumers were up 2 percent on the year.
No. 2 U.S. automaker Ford Motor arrived a 6.7 percent increase in sales in November, with fleet rummage sales up nearly 26 percent and retail sales 1.3 percent loaded than in November 2016.
Ford said SUV sales rose 13.3 percent in November, while its pickup rubbish sales were up 4.1 percent.
“November and December over the end few years has become a very big merchandising window for the industry,” Ford’s U.S. sales chief Token LaNeve told reporters on a conference call.
He said price striving between automakers should continue into 2018, but it “should not be too disruptive.”
Volkswagen AG said its garage sales were down 1.6 percent in November.
In morning trading, GM appropriates were down 18 cents at $42.91, FCA was off 9 cents at $17.01 and Ford was up 0.8 percent at $12.63.