Ford shares gain on upbeat December sales

Ford shares gain on upbeat December sales

Ford shares gain on upbeat December sales

According to Autodata Corp, which tracks industry sales, the seasonally adjusted annualised rate (SAAR) of USA auto and light truck sales in December fell to 17.9 million units from 18.2 million in December 2016.

USA sales of new vehicles are expected to fall 2 percent to 17.1 million in 2017, according to Kelley Blue Book.

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen all reported sales decreases for December while Ford Motor and Audi reported modest gains as the auto industry finished a year in which the growth in overall sales stopped and then declined. Sales totaled 2.587 million units compared with 2.615 million sold in 2016.

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"December capped off a record year for Ford brand SUVs, making it eight consecutive years of Ford brand sales leadership", said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of sales, service and marketing. For the year, Nissan reported total calendar year sales in the USA of 1,593,464 units, an increase of 1.9% over the prior year, setting an all-time record.

- LUXURY CROWN: Mercedes-Benz dethroned BMW as the best-selling luxury brand in the 2016, and it's likely to hold on to that title in 2017. The company also set a new annual sales record of 226,511 vehicles, a jump of 7.8% compared with all of 2016. That would be the first year-over-year decline since 2009, ending an unprecedented seven-year expansion. The newer models are more durable so drivers are holding on to their cars longer.

Ford's sales fell 1.1 percent to 2.6 million for the year compared to 2016, but it reported a surprise increase in December 2017 sales, fueled in part by the continued success of the F-Series pickups and other large vehicles.

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Toyota saw United States sales drop 0.6% to 2.4 million, but the company highlighted strength in its popular Camry sedan, the RAV4 crossover and SUVs. The company's Acura luxury division fell 12.2% in December and 4.2% for the full year. But most other automakers saw declines. Ford's sales were up 1 percent in December as its new large SUVs hit the market, and Hyundai's sales rose 2 percent.

Sales at Toyota's Lexus brand fell 13.9 percent.

- PILING ON THE DEALS: New vehicle prices hit a record previous year, averaging $36,113 as buyers bought bigger SUVs and added more safety and infotainment features, Kelley Blue Book said. Chevrolet was offering $11,000 off a 2017 Silverado pickup last month.

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Meanwhile, as the Canadian government continues to look at ways to increase electric-vehicle adoption, GM's electric vehicles account for a small portion of its overall sales.

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