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US Truck Sales Reflected Solid Strength in January 2018

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US auto sales in January 2018

The US auto industry seems to have begun 2018 on a positive note. According to the data compiled by Autodata, January 2018 US auto sales (XLY) stood at 1.15 million units. This figure was ~1% higher than US auto sales of ~1.14 million units in January 2017.

However, January’s US vehicle sales figure was much lower than the 1.6 million units that were sold in December 2017 partly because auto sales toward the end of the year tend to increase due to the high holiday discounts on offer by auto companies.

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Strong truck sales

In January 2018, US small car sales continued to fall significantly by 10.8% YoY (year-over-year) to 0.38 million vehicles. In contrast, sales of utility vehicles and trucks were at 0.77 million units—a handsome rise of 8% YoY.

In 2017, US truck sales also showcased strength, rising 1.3% YoY to 1.1 million units. However, US auto sales in 2017 fell 1.8% compared to the previous year. While car sales in the country fell 10.9%, YoY truck sales jumped 4.3% in 2017.

In 4Q17, US consumer sentiments remained near their highest level since 2004, keeping the positive trend intact. In general, strength in consumer sentiments typically reflects consumer optimism about the economy and is considered positive for auto demand.

Note that the United States is the second-largest auto market in the world after China. It’s also the largest single auto market in North America. Mainstream automakers such as Ford Motor Company (F), Toyota Motor (TM), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU), and General Motors (GM) make a large share of their revenues in the United States.

Series preview

In this series, we’ll explore the January 2018 US sales figures of key auto companies. We’ll find out what these sales figures could mean for these automakers’ future growths. We’ll also learn about what analysts are recommending for these US automakers’ stocks as a result of their January 2018 sales data.

We’ll begin by learning about Ford’s January 2018 US sales data in the next article.

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