U.S. Auto Industry Positioned To Set Full-Year Sales Record In 2016

Fri, Dec 2, 2016 1,969

It remains to be seen whether Donald Trump will “make America great again,” but his victory certainly appears to have inspired consumer confidence.

With the economy stable and unemployment low, Americans have been purchasing vehicles at a rapid pace, allowing for the possibility of setting a record for full-year sales within the U.S. auto industry, according the Detroit Free Press. As economic trends are shifting positively following the presidential election, consumers seem to believe it’s as good a time as ever to purchase a new vehicle.

General Motors and Ford’s unexpectedly high performances in November also inspired investors who were typically not as eager to purchase shares in recent years, according to the Freep, and the success of the auto industry is not limited to American brands. Volkswagen’s successful November reportedly broke a monthly sales losing streak that started with its emissions scandal in fall 2015.

With another successful month in December, the U.S. auto industry would have a chance to break its full-year record of 17.47 million vehicles sold in 2015. After November saw a 3.7 percent sales increase compared to a year ago, and with the holiday season approaching, experts believe the record is within reach.

But while the bump in sales coincided with Trump’s win, it was hardly the sole reason.

“Black Friday has become one of the cornerstone selling events in automotive now,” Ford U.S. sales chief Mark LeNeve told USA TODAY.

This spike in vehicle sales also showcased preference trends. Crossover, pickups and sport utility vehicle sales have been surging for some time, while sedan sales have dropped. At Nissan, for example, sales of crossovers, trucks, and SUVs increased 22.2 percent for the month, but cars fell 5.5 percent.

Thumbnail photo via Ford