U.S. auto sales are down for the Detroit Three and at several foreign carmakers for the first nine months of the year as the economy slows. But experts still expect the industry to finish 2019 with near-record numbers.
The Detroit News reported that industrywide sales fell 1.4% through September, due in part to a 12% decline last month, according to California-based analysis company Edmunds.
Still, most experts said automakers are moving vehicles at a roughly 17 million vehicle seasonally adjusted annual rate in spite of trade wars and a slowing economy. The record year was 17.55 million sold in the U.S. in 2016.
General Motors Co. dealerships bucked the downward trend by selling 6.3% more vehicles during the July through September sales cycle than in the same period a year ago, even though a nationwide strike by the United Auto Workers shut down production for many of GM’s popular vehicles during the last two weeks of the sale period. Year-to-date, GM sales are down 0.8%.
Ford Motor Co.’s sales declined nearly 5% during the third quarter, and are down 3.5% year-to-date.
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