Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Toyota: Tax Cuts May Prop Up Still-Healthy U.S. Auto Market

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Automakers may end up thanking Uncle Sam for supporting U.S. auto sales, which will stay healthy despite an unprecedented growth spurt coming to an end, according to a top Toyota Motor Corp. executive.

New-vehicle sales will probably be in the high-16 million range for the next couple years, Bob Carter, sales chief for Toyota Motor North America, said in an interview. That would be down from about 17.2 million vehicle deliveries this year, he said, though U.S. tax reform “should certainly help” demand.

“It puts more income in the consumer’s pocket,” Carter said in Detroit. “To quantify what that actually does to the industry is a little bit premature right now, but it’s healthy for the consumer and it’s certainly healthy for manufacturing.”

Read more: Why the Market Isn’t Sweating Over Shrinking U.S. Auto Sales

Carter also announced Friday that the carmaker will unveil a redesigned Avalon sedan at the Detroit auto show next month. He said the revamped model will arrive in showrooms later in 2018 and could help stabilize sales in the shrinking full-size sedan segment.

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