New vehicles sales rose 2.7 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, according to the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association.
Across Northern Ohio, franchised new vehicle dealers sold 253,111 new vehicles in 2017, up from 245,474 new vehicles sold in 2016. Used vehicle sales also were up, with dealers selling 201,038 used vehicles in 2017 compared to 196,765 units in 2016, an increase of 2.17 percent.
For December, new vehicle sales took a hit, with dealers selling 4.98 percent fewer cars and trucks than in December 2016. Used vehicle sales also were off for the month, with dealers selling 3.41 percent fewer used vehicles than they did over the same time period a year before.
“Sales in December were not as strong as we anticipated,” said Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the GCADA. “Inclement weather between Christmas and new year’s cut back on showroom traffic at a time that is considered one of the strongest selling weeks of the year. However, any time you end the year in positive territory, it’s good news.”
Dealers are anticipating another robust year in 2018, with sales remaining essentially flat or off one or two percent compared to 2017, he said.
Sales of trucks, crossovers and SUVs drove the industry throughout 2017, with Northern Ohio dealers selling 116,087 new vehicles in 2017, compared to 91,751 new vehicles in 2016, an increase of 26.52 percent for the year. When comparing December 2017 with December 2016, sales of trucks, crossovers and SUVs rose 5.59 percent for the month.
Chevy dealers sold 2,975 new vehicles in December, capping off a year that saw Chevrolet overtake Ford for the title of best-selling brand in Northeast Ohio. Ford sold only 23 fewer vehicles for the month, however Chevy dealers rang up sales of 39,469 total new vehicles in 2017, compared to Ford’s total of 38,854. While Ford ended the year marginally ahead of 2016 (plus 0.29 percent), it was still not enough to best Chevrolet’s year end increase of 6.85 percent.
Honda saw sales rise by 2.21 percent in 2017 with 22,093 new units sold to take home third place, while Toyota came in fourth with 19,857 new vehicles sold in 2017.
Retail sales figures are based on vehicle registration reports from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Vehicle sales data includes the following counties: Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Portage, Summit, Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Erie, Holmes, Huron, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Richland, Stark, Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Wayne.