Sales of the new-for-2018 Toyota Camry grew 21.3% in January, making the Camry America’s most popular car and helping to propel a strong overall showing for international nameplates. Photo courtesy Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

Sales of the new-for-2018 Toyota Camry grew 21.3% in January, making the Camry America’s most popular car and helping to propel a strong overall showing for international nameplates. Photo courtesy Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) released January sales figures for the international nameplate auto industry. Brands sold by America's 9,600 international nameplate franchises accounted for 57.4% of all new vehicles sold in the United States last month, up from 55.1% in December.

AutoData Corp. reports that the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for December was 17.12 million units versus 17.44 million units a year ago. Total industry unit deliveries, including all brands and unadjusted for business days, increased 1% compared to last January. Sales were down 28% compared to December 2017, in part, theorized analysts, due to the blistering cold that blanketed much of the country in January. International nameplate brands were up 6.4% from January 2017.

"Last month, international brands outperformed the auto market as a whole," said AIADA President Cody Lusk. "Dealers of these brands are starting the year off on a high note and anticipating strong consumer interest in the first quarter, driven in part by tax reform."

International brands were led last month by BMW (up 5% from last January), Nissan (12.1%), and Toyota (17%). Toyota had its best month ever for light truck sales and saw the redesigned Camry's sales climb 21.3% to be the most popular sedan in America. Throughout the industry, light trucks continued to drive sales demand last month, rising 8% as a segment, while cars lagged, slipping 10.8%.

International auto sales in the U.S. totaled 662,412 units in January, down from 882,393 units in December but up from 622,472 units in January 2017. Asian brands occupied 47.6% of the January auto market, up from 44.7 in December. Overall, Asian nameplate dealers sold 549,805 vehicles in January, a 6.6% increase from January 2017.

European brands sold 112,607 units in January, down from 166,496 units in December, but up 5.7% from the 106,556 units they sold in January 2017. They held 9.8% of the January U.S. auto market, down from 10.4% in December.

To read AIADA's complete coverage of January's international nameplate auto sales, click here

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