Passenger car sales in the U.S. suffered a historic drop in 2018, falling to their lowest level since the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis started tracking the data in 1967.
An S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis found that nonseasonally adjusted passenger car sales in the U.S. for 2018 dropped 12.8% to 5.3 million units on an annualized basis, versus 6.1 million units in 2017.
Sales of trucks, minivans and SUVs for the period reached an all-time high, to a nonseasonally adjusted annualized rate of 11.9 million units, up 7.7% from the 2017 figure of 11.1 million units.
As part of an ongoing trend over several years, sales of trucks, minivans and SUVs continue to dominate the market.
Overall nonseasonally adjusted U.S. vehicle sales for 2018 rose 0.5% to 17.2 million units from 17.1 million units in 2017. About 13.2 million vehicles sold in the U.S. were assembled in the U.S., Canada or Mexico, while 4.0 million of the vehicles sold were produced outside the North American Free Trade Agreement region.
The release of the Bureau of Economic Analysis data for 2018 was delayed due to a shutdown of the U.S. government that ended Jan. 25.
In 2018, Ford Motor Co.'s Ford F-Series was the best selling vehicle in the U.S. with 909,330 units sold, a 1.4% rise from 2017. Ford F-Series' closest competitor was General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Silverado, which sold 585,581 units during the year, a figure that was flat year over year.