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Ford's sales in China dropped by 43% in September compared with the same month in 2017. The drop was attributed to a combination of Ford's restructuring, a slowing Chinese economy, and the growing US-China trade war.
Ford posted US sales gains in August even as the overall market has flattened. Pickup trucks and SUVs drove the gains. Ford made a strategic decision to all but eliminate passenger cars from its portfolio in coming years.
Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi's strategy is global, and that led it to win the worldwide sales crown in 2017. But in the US, Nissan has a classic product problem. It's cars and trucks are good enough to convince buyers to take a look but Nissan has to discount to make sales.
An auto trade group has come out against the tariffs.
It's a fortunate historical anomaly for the car business: an extended sales cycle, cheap credit, affordable gas, and a boom in profitable vehicles.
Over the past three booming sales years, it's been obvious that SUVs are what Americans want to drive.
The auto industry might be looking to a weaker sales year in 2018 after an unexpectedly solid 2017, but there's a silver lining to the dark cloud of decline.
Anyone at a big car company or running a dealership or making car loans will tell you that a US market above 16 million in annual sales is a very good market.
It was impressive that General Motors beat Tesla to market, launching the Chevy Bolt in late 2015, but few expected Tesla be threatened by GM.
After thee straight years of strong sales, the US auto market enters 2018 with a sense of trepidation. Will the good times keep rolling?