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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Continue Sideways
by Tom Moeller April 4, 2005

Sales of light vehicles in March rose 3.5% versus February to 16.85M units according to Autodata Corporation but the gain only lifted sales to roughly the same level as last year. In 1Q sales averaged 16.45M, down 4.6% versus 17.25M in 4Q04.

Sales of light trucks rose moderately for the second consecutive month, but the 2.6% m/m gain left sales for the quarter down 5.8% versus 4Q.

Total auto sales rose 4.3% during March. Sales of domestic autos rose 4.9% (-1.3% y/y) and imported car sales rose 2.8% (2.6 y/y).

Imports' share of the US market for new vehicles in March fell slightly m/m to 19.9% and was the same as during 2004.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Mar Feb Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total 16.85 16.30 0.3% 16.88 16.63 16.81
  Autos 7.68 7.36 -0.2% 7.49 7.62 8.07
  Trucks 9.17 8.94 0.7% 9.39 9.01 8.74
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