Nearly All Automakers to Report Negative Sales Growth, Some Less Than Others

Ford expected to gain nearly a percentage point of market share, led by the new Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, Kelley Blue Book says.

Boston Globe

December will be a month of negative sales growth for virtually all automakers, yet some will fare better than others.

That's according to estimates released Thursday by Kelley Blue Book, which expects Ford to gain nearly a percentage point of market share. The new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator are pacing December gains by Ford SUVs, which could see a growth of up to 10 percent during the month, according to KBB's calculations.

The Ford EcoSport, a subcompact SUV coming onto the market next year, should buttress the automaker's lineup and be competitive in a growing sector.

Conversely, Fiat Chrysler is positioned to lose the most volume year-over-year, with KBB estimating a 12 percent decline, some of it due to discontinued models. That includes the Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart and Jeep Patriot, which made up almost 12,000 sales last December.

Fiat Chrysler's strategy of reducing fleet sales this year, which are down 25 percent, is an ongoing factor in the year-to-year comparisons.

Full-size trucks should be the second-biggest segment for the industry in December, with its market share rising as much as 14 percent. The largest year-over-year growth appears to be in the Nissan Titan, sales of which have been bolstered by nearly $6,000 in incentives per vehicle. 

In addition, Chevrolet's Employee Discount for Everyone program could make December a good month for its Silverado, according to analysts at KBB.

Like much of the year, December was tough for mid-size cars, which could see a decline in market share of as much a 1.5 percentage points. Overall, market share for cars could end 2017 below 36 percent from 39.2 percent last year.