Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Ford Motor Co.'s December and total 2019 sales data, which was released Monday, Jan. 6.
After U.S. sales peaked at 17.55 million in 2016, the auto industry has avoided a steep decline, steadily coasting on annual sales of more than 17 million. Another stable year appears to lie ahead, aided by multiple factors, such as affordable interest rates and low unemployment rates.
In 2019, "across all segments, the industry [was] fairly flat, which is not a bad thing," said Steve Germain, CEO of Germain Motor Co., a dealership group with more than a dozen stores in Ohio, Michigan and Florida.
"I think that in 2020, we can expect more of the same as we did in 2019, some brands up and some brands down. I see opportunities to grow a bit and continue with the used-car business," he said.
This year, automakers plan to introduce more than 60 new or refreshed models, according to LMC Automotive and J.D. Power.