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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Soft
by Tom Moeller April 4, 2006

US light vehicle sales during March dipped 0.1% m/m to 16.59M units according to the Autodata Corporation and were slightly softer than Consensus expectations for sales of 16.7M.

Sales of US made vehicles were weak and posted a 1.4% (-4.2% y/y) decline to 12.94M units. Domestic car sales led the decline with a 2.6% (-6.8% y/y) drop while sales of domestic trucks slipped 0.6% (-2.4% y/y).

Imported light vehicle sales posted a 4.7% m/m increase (8.2% y/y) to 3.66M as car sales in March rose 6.7% (5.5% y/y) to 2.31M units. Imported truck sales also rose but by a lesser 1.6% (13.1% y/y) to a record high of 1.35M units.

Imports' share of the US light vehicle market surged to a record 22.0%. For the first three months of this year imports' share averaged 20.4% versus 20.3% during all of last year.

Increasing Global Competition and Labor Productivity: Lessons from the U.S. Automotive Industry from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Mar Feb Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total 16.59 16.61 -1.7% 16.92 16.87 16.63
  Autos 7.42 7.41 -3.3% 7.65 7.49 7.62
  Trucks 9.17 9.20 -0.4% 9.27 9.37 9.01
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