U.S. auto sales set a new record in 2016. Automakers sold 17.55 million vehicles last year, as sales continued at a hot pace in December and topped analysts’ expectations.
Automakers eclipsed the record year of 2015 by some 70,000 vehicles or 0.4%, according to tracking firm Autodata Corp. Light truck sales totaled 59.5% of all sales last year, with cars representing 40.5% of the record. A year ago those percentages were 55.8% to 44.2% and each were about half just a few years ago.
Another new sales record looked like a longshot just a few months ago, but a strong holiday sales period helped U.S. automakers forge ahead. Our Automotive MMI increased a point last month closing out a strong year.
Automotive metals are not just seeing robust demand from U.S. consumers. Automotive purchases in China are helping the strong economic recovery there, too. Sustainable growth in the world’s largest consumer of commodities is a bullish trend for all industrial metals and automotive alloys are no exception.
Ford Motor Company‘s recent decision to reinvest in a plant in Michigan rather than open a planned facility in Mexico may be the first salvo in an automotive trade war that has long been promised by President-elect Donald Trump.
Actual Automotive Metal Prices
U.S. Hot-dipped galvanized steel was rose 10% to $815 a short ton this month from $740/st in December. U.S. Shredded scrap steel increased 20% to $286/st this month from $238/st last month.