U.S. new-vehicle sales this month, fueled by higher incentives, are expected to roughly match the levels of January 2017, but the selling rate is projected to decline as the industry prepares for a second straight year of lower volume.
According to an Automotive News report, forecasts from Cox Automotive and LMC/J.D. Power call for sales to rise about 1% year-over-year, while Edmunds projects a 1.4% decline.
All three forecasts call for sales of around 1.1 million vehicles. Cox and LMC/J.D. Power say that will result in a seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales of 17.1 million vehicles, while Edmunds forecasts a 16.7 million SAAR. Both figures are below the January 2017 rate of 17.43 million.
“Coming off a strong sales period to close out 2017, a slower start to the year was anticipated,” Thomas King, senior vice president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “After the industry’s emphasis on the sell-down of old model-year vehicles in December, January is a transition month as manufacturers shift focus towards 2018 model-year vehicles.”
January is typically the lowest-volume month of the year. This month, lower-than-normal temperatures in much of the country kept buyers indoors.
“The bomb cyclone that tore through the East Coast at the beginning of the month certainly didn’t help an already slower sales month,” Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of industry analysis, said in a statement.
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