Used-vehicle sales will rise and new-vehicle sales will fall in 2018, while total sales will reach 56.2 million, which would represent a second year of declines for the automotive industry, according to a Cox Automotive forecast.
Crossovers will continue to dominate consumer demand in both the used and new segments; however, prices for the vehicle segment may begin to suffer, the forecast also predicted.
Of the 56.2 million vehicle sales that Cox Automotive forecast for 2018, 16.7 million will be new-vehicle sales while the remaining 39.5 million will come from the used-vehicle segment, said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke in a video outlining key market trends for 2018.
The 16.7 million unit projection on the new side would represent a nearly 3% reduction from the 17.2 million new vehicles sold in 2017, while the 39.5 million projection for used vehicles would represent a nearly 1% increase from the 39.2 million used vehicles sold in 2017.
In 2017, new-vehicle sales waned while used-vehicle sales prospered, and Smoke expects that trend to continue in 2018. Along with unit sales growth, overall used vehicle prices are also expected to rise through the year, due to stronger demand for used vehicles, Smoke added.
From a segment perspective, Cox Automotive is forecasting growth in crossover sales and declines in sedan sales.
In 2018, about 33% of the 3.9 million off-lease vehicles expected to enter the used market will belong to the crossover segment, meaning that consumers will have plentiful supply in both the new market and the used market for their strong crossover demand.
Due to the abundance of supply, however, pricing for crossovers is expected to be weaker in 2018 when compared to 2017, Smoke said.