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U.S. car sales from 1951 to 2016 (in units)

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About This Statistic

This statistic represents the number of automobiles sold in the United States between 1951 and 2016. In 2016, approximately 7.1 million passenger cars were sold to customers in the United States. Globally, car sales are estimated to come to around 77 million units in 2016.


U.S. car sales

How many cars are sold in the U.S.? The number of cars sold in the U.S. went down from a staggering 7.9 million units in 2014 to a little over 7.1 million units in 2016, mainly because U.S. consumer demand shifted towards larger vehicles over the course of these two years: U.S. light truck sales increased from about 8.7 million units in 2014 to almost 10.6 million units in 2016. December 2014 turned out to be one of the industry’s most successful sales months, while sales dipped by 3.2 percent in December 2015, compared with the same month one year earlier. One year later, car sales declined by around 8.1 percent, compared with December 2015. However, light truck sales grew by 8.3 percent between December 2015 and 2016. Persisting low Brent oil prices and low gasoline prices are expected to further increase the number of cars and trucks sold in the USA. U.S. motor vehicle sales are expected to hit a peak of 17 million units by 2018. In light of an aging light vehicle fleet, a growing number of people will also likely replace their old vehicle with a new one. In 2016, the average U.S. passenger car was 11.6 years old. U.S. car buyers might hope to lessen their carbon footprint by switching to an electric vehicle or a smaller, more energy-efficient model. Mid-size cars and small cars are proving increasingly popular among U.S. customers, although cross utility vehicles remain in high demand. The best selling-car models in the U.S. include smaller cars such as the Honda Civic or the Hyundai Elantra, while the Ford F-Series and the Chevrolet Silverado topped the list of the best-selling light trucks in the United States in 2016.

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