Pretty amazing, that seven-year streak of sales gains in the U.S. market that ended in 2017. During the splendid stretch from 2010 through 2016, light-vehicle sales soared by 7,122,460 units, or 61 percent.
The last time carmakers managed a string of success such as that was at the dawn of the industry, from 1909 through 1917.
But, sigh, now it's over.
Only it's not. Not really.
Though unit sales in 2017 fell by 1.8 percent, volume continued to rise by another measurement — money.
Eight straight gains in the industrywide average transaction price have now been set down, according to Kelley Blue Book. Last year the average price climbed above $35,000 for the first time — to $35,126, up from $34,262.
Those 17,245,872 new vehicles sold last year generated more dough than the 17,553,429 sold the year before. Thus, in terms of the top line, the market in 2017 outperformed 2016.