US auto sales seen lower in January; GM, Ford post declines

Markets Associated Press

This Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, photo shows Chevrolet cars on a dealer lot in Pittsburgh. Automakers release vehicle sales for January, on Wednesday, Feb. 1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (The Associated Press)

U.S. auto sales are expected to have fallen in January after ending last year at a record high.

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General Motors' sales fell 3.8 percent from last January, while Ford's sales were down 1 percent. Nissan's sales rose 6 percent thanks to strong truck and SUV sales.

Other automakers report sales later Wednesday.

ALG, an automotive forecasting firm, predicts overall sales will be down 1.5 percent from last January to 1.1 million.

January is typically the weakest month of the year for U.S. auto sales, as winter weather and holiday debts keep buyers away from car dealerships. This year, the hangover could be even more acute, since a strong December capped off a record year for the industry. U.S. auto sales totaled 17.55 million last year.