Automakers on Wednesday are likely to report a 3% decline in U.S. auto sales for January after a surprisingly strong December stole some thunder from the start of the new year, industry analysts and economists said.
Japan is scrambling to respond to intensifying trade pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe planning to meet the head of Toyota Motor Corp this week and business lobby Keidanren planning a Trump task force.
Major automakers in the U.S. market are expected to show robust December auto sales on Wednesday, perhaps high enough for 2016 results to break the record high set the previous year, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.
Hefty consumer discounts during a robust Black Friday weekend helped boost November U.S. auto sales between 4 % and 5 %, which could catapult results this year above a record high in 2015, economists and industry analysts said.
Toyota on Tuesday raised its full-year outlook, as it posted a 23% jump in net profit for the most recent quarter, buoyed by a favorable shift in foreign exchange rates and strong sales of its sedans and SUVs in North America.