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Jan. Auto Sales Make Slight Uptick

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Feb. 5, 2018—January’s U.S. auto sales were slightly better than a year prior, though many analysts still predict a small full-year decline despite economic factors that favor the industry. Automakers reported a 1 percent increase last month to 1.15 million vehicles, according to Associated Press research.  

But Mike Jackson, CEO of the AutoNation dealership group, noted that late-model used cars coming off leases are pulling buyers from higher-priced new vehicles. He predicts new-car sales will drop from 17.2 million last year to approximately 16.8 million this year.

Among the noteworthy statistics released by automakers late last week:

  • Car sales fell nearly 11 percent, while truck and SUV sales made an 8 percent increase.
  • Nissan Group sales rose 10 percent to 123,538, a January record.
  • Toyota Motor Corp. posted a 16.8 percent increase to 167,056 vehicles, due to strong SUV demand.
  • Meanwhile, multiple OEMs endured sales decreases, most notably Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (down 13 percent, due to reduced sales to fleet buyers), and Hyundai (down 11.3 percent from last year’s record January).

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