Monday, December 26, 2016

Vehicle Sales Forecast: Sales Over 17 Million SAAR Again in December, On Track for Record Year in 2016

by Bill McBride on 12/26/2016 09:53:00 AM

The automakers will report December vehicle sales on Wednesday, January 4th.

Note: There were 27 selling days in December 2016, down from 28 in December 2015.

From WardsAuto: December Light-Vehicle Sales to Push U.S. Market to New Record

December U.S. light-vehicle sales are forecast to finish strong enough for 2016 to top 2015’s record 17.396 million units. However, actual volume largely will be determined by results in the final third of the month, because a major portion of December’s deliveries typically occur after Christmas.

The forecast 17.7 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual rate is below November’s 17.8 million, but above December 2015’s 17.4 million.
...
Despite the drop in December’s volume, total 2016 sales will end at 17.41 million units, barely edging out the all-time high set last year.
emphasis added
Here is a table (source: BEA) showing the 5 top years for light vehicle sales through November, and the top 5 full years. 2016 will probably finish in the top 3, and could be the best year ever - just beating last year.

Light Vehicle Sales, Top 5 Years and Through November
  Through NovemberFull Year
  YearSales (000s)YearSales (000s)
1200016,109201517,396
2200115,812200017,350
3201615,783200117,122
4201515,766200516,948
5199915,498199916,894