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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Fell As Truck Rebates Ended
by Tom Moeller November 4, 2004

Unit sales of light vehicles dropped 3.1% m/m in October to a 16.96M selling rate. Consensus expectations had been for sales of 16.7M.

Sales of light trucks gave back all of September's gain with a 7.3% m/m drop as sweetened sales incentives were scaled back and also as gasoline prices breeched $2.00 per gallon. Domestic light truck sales dropped 9.2% m/m but imported light truck sales rose 6.9%.

Total auto sales rose 2.8% m/m for the second consecutive monthly gain on the strength of a 19.4% rise in imported auto sales. Sales of domestic autos fell 3.7%.

Imports' share of the US market for new vehicles ballooned to 22.1%, the highest since early 1991.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil.Units) Oct Sept Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total 16.96 17.51 3.1% 16.69 16.81 17.26
  Autos 7.53 7.33 -3.9% 7.63 8.07 8.48
  Trucks 9.43 10.18 8.9% 9.06 8.74 8.78
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