UNITED STATES – According to sales data for the end of the year, 2018 was not the best year for most major automakers. And, the industry thinks the same, or even worse, is in store for 2019. It seems that over the years, more and more Americans have been saying goodbye to passenger cars and welcoming SUVs and pickup trucks. Car sales for passenger cars are steadily declining.
According to Ford Motor Co, they had almost a 9 percent drop in car sales for December. However, they declined sales in SUVs, pickups, AND passenger cars. Ford’s F-Series pickup trucks, which have been the number one US sellers since the 1980s, went down almost 2 percent In December.
But, Toyota Motor Corp’s SUV and pickup truck sales reportedly went up. However, their passenger cars went down a whopping 16.5 percent. General Motors Co, reported over 2.5 percent drop in their fourth quarter sales. Even some of their more popular larger vehicles went down in sales. But, despite the not-so-great predictions for 2019, they remain cautiously optimistic.
Optimism for the New Year
Kurt McNeil, GM’s vice president in the US for sales operations, stated: “We are very bullish on pickups heading into 2019. We feel confident heading into 2019 because we have more major truck and crossover launches coming during the year and the U.S. economy is strong.”
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also hopes for a good year in 2019. They actually reported sales going up in December. And, head of sales, Reid Bigland, stated: “This year’s performance underscores the efforts we undertook to realign our production to give U.S. consumers more Jeep vehicles and Ram pickup trucks. We see sales remaining solid in 2019.”
So, despite several major companies’ drops in vehicle sales, sellers are hoping that the SUV and pickup truck trend rises in 2019. New vehicle sales in the U.S. were expected to fall in 2019 after recent issues with the stock market. In addition, the country’s economy has likely contributed to consumers’ decisions on purchasing new vehicles.