After a robust finish to 2016, new vehicle sales slowed in January, though generally remained healthy enough overall to boost confidence for the coming year.
There has been concern within the industry that 2016 brought a peak to the automotive recovery, with analyst and industry planners watching to see if and when things would begin to cool off. The good news they got was that, with a few exceptions, the new car market appeared to do better than initially forecast – and not only were sales relatively solid but consumers continued buying more expensive products.
The numbers were decidedly mixed, industry giants General Motors, Toyota and Ford all reporting year-over-year declines for January. But Nissan’s sales were up for the month, and a number of automakers scored new sales records, including Hyundai, Audi and Nissan’s luxury arm Infiniti. Auto industry analysts had been anticipating declines of anywhere from 0.7% to 2.7% — according to TrueCar and KelleyBlueBook, respectively. But even for many of those makers who did suffer sales dips in January, the news wasn’t all bad.