The possibility of record annual U.S. auto sales remained alive heading into December 2016, but an abbreviated sales month contributed to forecasts that called for a modest 2% decline in the final month of the year.
U.S. auto sales rose to an all-time record of 17.47 million units in calendar year 2015. Through the first 11 months of 2016, 15.85 million new cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and vans had been sold in America.
December 2016 sales, however, were much stronger than anticipated. The forecasted 2% decline turned into a 3% year-over-year improvement, driving the calendar year’s total up 0.3% to 17.5 million units, an all-time record performance for the industry.
Despite a steady downturn in U.S. sales of passenger cars, America’s four top-selling utility vehicles all reported record annual sales, pickup truck volume rose nearly 6%, and minivan volume grew by more than 6%. While General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corp. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – America’s four top-selling manufacturers – all reported fewer sales in 2016 than in 2015, the gains produced by Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru, and Hyundai-Kia (all of which broke annual records) more than offset the losses by the biggest automakers.
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December’s 1.69 million sales, meanwhile, represented the highest-volume single month for the U.S. auto industry since before the recession. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 18.38 million units was the fifth-highest pace of all time according to Automotive News. Automakers accomplished this feat by boosting incentives to record December levels. The average discount on a new vehicle purchase in December rose 20%, year-over-year, to $3673 according to ALG.
If you don’t wish to see automakers arranged alphabetically, click column headers to sort automakers by December sales, year-over-year change, year-to-date totals, or any other order. Best seller lists for cars, trucks, and SUVs will be added later this afternoon. In the coming days, GCBC will also publish a complete list of year end sales for every single vehicle line, a list which includes brand results. (Check out the 2015 version here.) You can always find historical monthly and yearly sales figures for any brand by clicking the brand name in the table below or by selecting a make (or model) at GCBC’s Sales Stats page.
Click column headers to sort by specific categories. Using the mobile version of GoodCarBadCar? Thumb across the table for full-width visibility or switch to the web version at the bottom of the page, at which point columns will be sortable. January 2017 • November 2016 • December 2015 • Updated at 4:57 PM AT on 01.04.2017