Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of vehicles sold in 2017.

The U.S. auto industry's seven-year sales streak has come to an end, a tally showed Wednesday.

The sales run that began after the recession in 2010, and one that included two consecutive years of record sales, fell short in 2017 with sales of 17.2 million vehicles, down 1.8% compared to 2016, industry tracker Autodata reported.

The industry cooled off as Americans are kept recently purchased vehicles longer and are embraced lower-mileage used vehicles in the face of rising interest rates, said Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist for Cox Automotive.

AP AUTO SALES F FILE USA PA
Cars are seen at an automobile dealer in Zelienople, Pa.

The auto industry is yet to complain. Even if overall sales are slightly lower, Americans are flocked to crossovers, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks which are more profitable than cars.

"Every time I thought we’ve reached the natural level of demand, SUVs continued to increase," said Joe Eberhardt, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America.

For December, Autodata says overall sales were down 5.2% compared to the same month last year. That beat predictions from Edmunds.com, at 5.6%, and Kelley Blue Book, at 6.7%. 

Facing a tough comparison over a record December 2016, most automakers were down for the month. General Motors recorded a 1.3% decline compared to the same month last year, while Ford was down 1.1%. Fiat Chrysler fell 8.2% as it continues to reduce its reliance on sales to corporate, rental and government fleets.

Toyota's sales fell 0.6%. Fellow Japanese automakers Nissan and Honda rose 1.9% and 0.2%, respectively. Subaru continued its hot streak, rising 5.3%.

Kia's slump continued as the Korean automaker recorded a 20.9% decline. Sister automaker Hyundai was also expected to post a decline.

Automakers increased discounts only 1% in December, compared to a year earlier, to an average of $3,459 per vehicle, according to Edmunds.

That indicates that companies aren't compromising profits for the sake of market share.

In many cases, incentives were more targeted than in the past, aimed at individual buyers, specific trim levels or various regions, Autotrader.com analyst Michelle Krebs said.

"We are seeing a much more sophisticated use of incentives," Krebs said.

Here's how the major automakers fared in December and for all of 2017:

General Motors

Edmunds.com projection for December: -5.8%

Kelley Blue Book projection for December: -7.9%

Actual December results: -3.3%

2017 full-year results: -1.3%

Detroit-based GM once again finished the year as the best-selling automaker in the U.S. market. The company sold 308,539 vehicles in December and 3 million for the year.

In December, GM's flagship Chevrolet brand was down 2.9% and its luxury Cadillac lineup slumped 28.6%. But GMC eeked out a 1.2% gain and Buick rose 4.7%.

The company said its retail sales, which are more profitable than sales to fleet customers, increase 2% for the month.

Strong performers for the month included the company's sister full-size pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which rose 24.7% and 13.5%, respectively.

Ford

Edmunds.com projection for December: -2%

Kelley Blue Book projection for December: -2.4%

Actual December results: 0.9%

2017 full-year results: -1.1%

In a surprise, the Blue Oval automaker ended the year on an upswing. The Ford brand's 1.9% sales increase more than offset the luxury Lincoln lineup's 17% decline.

Overall, the company sold 242,049 vehicles in December and 2.59 million vehicles for the year in the U.S.

The automaker's F-series pickup lineup, the most popular model in the U.S., enjoyed a 2.1% increase to 89,385 vehicles.

The F-series had its best year since 2005.

Fiat Chrysler

Edmunds.com projection for December: -8.2%

Kelley Blue Book projection for December: -11.7%

Actual December results: -10.7%

2017 full-year results: -8.2%

The Italian-American automaker has been intentionally reducing its previously heavy reliance on sales to fleet customers, such as daily rental companies. Those types of sales are less profitable than retail sales.

Fiat Chrysler's fleet sales tumbled 42% for the month, while retail sales declined 3%.

Fiat Chrysler sold 171,946 vehices in December and 2.06 million vehicles for the full year.

In December, the company's Jeep brand fell 12%, the Chrysler brand increased 2.6%, the Dodge brand declined 23.2%, the Ram brand was down 6.9% and the Fiat brand slipped 33.3%.

Toyota

Edmunds.com projection for December: -6.5%

Kelley Blue Book projection for December: -9.6%

Actual December results: -8.3%

2017 full-year results: -0.6%

The Japanese automaker sold 222,985 U.S. vehicles overall in December and 2.43 million for the year.

In December, Toyota's namesake brand recorded a 7.2% decline, while its luxury Lexus lineup fell 13.9%.

The company's cars slumped 12.2%, while sales of crossovers, pickups and SUVs fell 5.9%.

All Toyota brand models that have been on sale since 2016 posted sales declines in December, except Camry, 4Runner, Tacoma and Mirai.

Nissan

Edmunds.com projection for December: -5.4%

Kelley Blue Book projection for December: -5.7%

Actual December results: -9.5%

2017 full-year results: 1.9%

The Japanese automaker sold 138,226 U.S. vehicles in December and 1.59 million for the full year.

The Nissan brand was down 9.4% for the month, while the luxury Infiniti brand declined 10%.

The company notched an all-time high for a full year as its Rogue crossover led the way, posting a 22.3% increase over the previous year. Rogue accounted for more than 25% of the automaker's U.S. sales.

Honda

Edmunds.com projection for December: -5.8%

Kelley Blue Book projection for December: -5.3%

Actual December results: -7%

2017 full-year results: 0.2%

The Japanese automaker sold 149,317 U.S. vehicles in December and 1.64 million for the year.

The Honda brand was down 6.3% for the month, and the Acura brand was down 12.2%.

Volkswagen Group

Edmunds.com projection for December: -13.2%

Kelley Blue Book projection for December: -10.8%

Actual December results: VW brand -18.7%; Audi brand +16.3%

2017 full-year results: VW brand +5.2%; Audi brand +7.8%

Subaru

Edmunds.com projection for December: (not provided)

Kelley Blue Book projection for December: -6.6%

Actual December results: 0.3%

2017 full-year results: 5.3%

Hyundai-Kia

Edmunds.com projection for December: -11.3%

Kelley Blue Book projection for December: -9.1%

Actual December results: Kia -20.9%

2017 full-year results: Kia -8.9%

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.