NADA analysts predict the increasing fuel efficiency of light-duty pickups and CUVs such as the BMW X4 will continue to push more consumers away from car segments. - Photo courtesy of BMW Group. 

NADA analysts predict the increasing fuel efficiency of light-duty pickups and CUVs such as the BMW X4 will continue to push more consumers away from car segments.

Photo courtesy of BMW Group. 

The National Automobile Dealers Association released its annual new-vehicle sales forecast for 2020, predicting U.S. dealers will move fewer than 17 million units for the first time since 2014.

Analysts found that, as in 2018, consumers continued to abandon car segments in 2019. Light trucks are on track to account for more than 70% of overall new-car sales for 2019, while cars will account for less than 30% of new-car sales.

“We expect new light-vehicles sales will come in at 16.8 million units for 2020, roughly a 1.2% drop from 2019 sales volume,” said NADA senior economist Patrick Manzi. “As for 2019, it appears new vehicle sales will best the expectations of most in the industry by topping 17 million units for the fifth straight year.”

By the end of 2020, NADA projects that three of every four new vehicles sold will be light trucks, a significant increase from a decade ago when the new-vehicle sales mix was 48% light trucks and 52% cars.

“Consumers like the added practicality and ride height afforded by light trucks. And crossovers, which account for more than 40% of the total new vehicle market, continue to increase in fuel efficiency each year — offering fuel economy close to their sedan counterparts. In the absence of a significant spike in gasoline prices for a sustained period of time, we expect this shift in preference as permanent,” Manzi added.

This story originally appeared on Auto Dealer Today, another Bobit Business Media publication. 

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