This is news that's sure to rile Trump.
As much as everybody is complaining about how bad 2016 was, it seems that this year will go on record as being one of the best sales years for the auto industry. At the beginning of the year it appeared as if the surge couldn’t be slowed, but one by one, the canaries in the coal mine began to fall signaling that the market was headed for a cool down. Now, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that closures and layoffs are on the horizon as automakers struggle to whittle down their mounting stockpiles.
In mid October, Ford shut down its Flat Rock, Michigan, assembly plant where the Mustang is made due to slow sales, which was followed by closures of the Kansas City, Missouri and Louisville, Kentucky lines where the F-150, Escape, and Lincoln MKC are built. General Motors has been having a similar problem because just this week, it idled a total of five plants after severe miscalculations resulted in a 105-day supply of cars rather than a more “healthy” 60-65 day supply. FCA has just announced closures for the same reason, meaning that none of America’s big three automakers are selling as well as they hoped to. The shutdowns are a reflection of a market that’s slowing down, leaving 2016 as the high water mark for sales.
The shutdowns come at an untimely part of the year for workers, who now face the prospect of being laid off during the holiday season. For automakers, the effects of the slowdown won’t be too drastic as sales are still expected to boom in 2017. IHS Markit, a financial company tasked with forecasting various industries, has revised its 2017 prediction of US auto sales, bringing it down to an expected 17.37 million sales compared to 17.5 million where it sat before. In other words, the drop off isn't night and day. For consumers and car fans, this is wonderful news because it means our favorite cars from the big three should be seeing some healthy incentives in the coming months.