DETROIT — New vehicle sales for 2017 are expected to remain on pace with last year, even as incentive spending hits record levels through April, according to a forecast developed by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.
LMC predicts total light vehicle sales in 2017 will slip by 40,000 units to 17.5 million, a decline of 0.1 percent from 2016.
"While industry retail sales pace remains high, it is being powered by elevated levels of incentive spending, which pose a serious threat to the long-term health of the industry," said Deirdre Borrego, senior vice president of automotive data and analytics at J.D. Power, who noted that the value of incentives used to sell new vehicles had increased by $1.9 billion through the first four months of 2017.
Total incentive spending in the marketplace stands at $16.4 billion through April, up 13 percent from last year, the market analysts said.