Figures released in early January put total US car sales for 2016 at 17.55 million, an increase of 0.5% year on year, reports Leatherbiz.
While the growth is small, it does make 2016 the seventh consecutive year of growth for the automotive industry in the US, which specialist analyst firm IHS has said is “unprecedented”.
One detail that appears positive for the automotive leather sector is that sports utility vehicles (SUVs), which typically consume more leather than other passenger cars, continue to increase their share of the overall market.
The Los Angeles Times quoted Toyota’s sales director in the US, Bill Fay, as saying that, three years ago, SUVs had a 50% share of all passenger vehicle sales. In 2016, SUVs’ share increased to 63%. The Honda CR-V was the bestselling SUV in the US last year, with sales up 3% to 357,335 vehicles.