Big three American automakers post sales slide in 2017

Updated 2018-01-04 11:00:32 Xinhua

The big three American automakers -- General Motors (GM), Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) all reported sales decline for the U.S. market in 2017, compared to record-high numbers of 2016.

GM reported Wednesday its full-year sales of 3.002 million vehicles in 2017, down 1.3 percent compared with 2016 sales.

The company reported it sold more than 1.3 million trucks and 965,090 crossover vehicles last year. GM's December sales fell 3.3 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

Ford said annual sales dropped by 1.1 percent to 2.587 million vehicles, which included a 4.3 percent increase in sales for trucks and a 4.3 percent sales increase compared to 2016 for SUVs as well.

"December capped off a record year for Ford brand SUVs, making it eight consecutive years of Ford brand sales leadership," Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said in a statement.

FCA posted a drop of eight percent to 2.059 million vehicles. Ram brand vehicles saw the only sales increase for the year at two percent. The Alfa Romeo brand saw a big leap in sales due to new vehicle launches in the U.S.

But FCA's Jeep sales dropped 11 percent compared with 2016, largely due to the company's decision to kill the Patriot and focus on the Compass. This sent Patriot sales plunging by two-thirds while Compass sales decline over 10 percent.

However, GM's Chief Economist Mustafa Mohatarem is optimistic about future vehicle sales in U.S. market.

"This year, many consumers will see their take-home pay rise because of tax reform. That will keep the broad economy growing, and help keep sales at very healthy levels even as the Fed increases interest rates," he said in a statement.

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