U.S. auto sales are cooling, but the nation’s party isn’t over

Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus claims that the U.S. sales party isn’t over yet. U.S. sales will probably plateau this year just below 2016’s record finish and hover at near-record levels for some time. He says that what others call a “cooling off” is probably the best thing that has ever happened, because levels that were once seen as excessive are now sustainable.

U.S. sales edged ahead 0.3 percent in 2016 to end the year at 17.5 million units, a seventh straight year of gains. Through March of this year, however, sales were down 1.6 percent, with Cadillac volume falling even faster with a 4.6 percent decline. Even if the market loses 500,000 vehicles, it will still be above 17 million units, which is a healthy level by any standard. As a brand, Cadillac is getting an extra lift from China. Cadillac sold more cars in China than in the U.S. last December. And China sales were up 90 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Read more

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