With the tariff fight heating up, U.S. automakers are worried about the impact on their business. Adrienne Roberts reports in The Wall Street Journal:
But industry executives warn that momentum could stall in coming months as President Donald Trump threatens to impose tariffs that are projected to cost the auto industry billions of dollars and could raise some car prices by nearly $6,000, according to estimates.
Overall U.S. auto sales increased by 1.9% in the first half of the year. June sales increased by about 5%, according to analysts, boosted by an additional selling day compared with last year.
General Motors Co., reporting for the first time since it announced it would move to reporting sales on a quarterly basis in April, said year-to-date through June, its sales were up 4.2% to 1,474,170 vehicles. Both Toyota Motor Corp. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV posted sales gains for the first six months, while Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co.’ssales were relatively flat. Nissan Motor Co. reported a nearly 5% decrease in sales for the first half of the year.
“Tax reform raised take-home pay, consumer confidence is high and household balance sheets are healthy,” GM Chief Economist Elaine Buckberg said. “All of this plus a strong job market makes consumers more willing to commit to major purchases like vehicles.”
This year, as the price of vehicles continues to rise and sales remain strong, consumers are on track to spend $215 billion on new vehicles in the first half of the year, nearly $5 billion more than the first six months of 2017, according to J.D. Power. The average new vehicle transaction price is expected to reach $32,221 for the first half of the year, a record, said J.D. Power.
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