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Don't Be Fooled: The U.S. Auto Sales Party Is Coming to an End

  • Deliveries probably will drop from 2018’s 17.3 million
  • Rental companies, other fleet buyers buoyed demand last year
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Christopher Richter, deputy head of Japan research at CLSA, talks about the outlook for the global auto industry.(Source: Bloomberg)

Carmakers have enjoyed an extended run of near-record U.S. sales and fat profits. But this year, it looks as if the party really will start to end.

Interest rates are on the rise. The average price of a new vehicle has hit record levels, which is pushing some buyers out of the market. And don’t let the surprise squeaker of a 2018 sales gain fool you: Automakers kept the numbers up partly by selling more cars to rental companies.