Analysts are lowering estimates for 2017 vehicle sales after five months of industrywide deliveries declining from a year earlier. Among the reasons: automakers are showing more restraint on discounts than expected and gridlock in Washington reduces the likelihood of a second-half surge. Analysts reduce their full-year projections this spring, dialing the consensus back to 17.2 million light vehicles. The industry set a record with 17.55 million cars and light trucks sold last year, aided by a jump in shipments to rental-car companies and other fleet buyers.
The auto industry has been a fixation for President Donald Trump, who’s said carmakers will build vehicles in the U.S. again because of him. While he’s promised the industry less regulation and lower taxes, the struggle the Republican-led White House and Congress have had with health-care reform has cast doubt on the Trump administration’s ability to follow through on measures that would boost car demand. Read more