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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Remain Unchanged M/M
by Tom Moeller  February 2, 2011

As expected, unit sales of light vehicles were roughly unchanged last month versus December at 12.62M units (SAAR). (Seasonal adjustment of these figures is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.) Nevertheless, sales were up 17.4% y/y and started Q1 up slightly from Q4.

Though they fell slightly from December,auto sales posted a 7.2% y/y rise to 6.09M. A 2.9% monthly increase in domestics pulled them up 8.4% for the year. Imported auto sales, however, slipped for the fourth consecutive month (+4.8% y/y). Sales of light trucks rose 1.4% to 6.53M (28.9% y/y). Sales of domestics inched up 1.5% m/m and 34.1% y/y. Sales of imported light trucks rose a similar 1.2% m/m and 7.2% versus twelve months ago.

For the month, import's share of the U.S. light vehicle market slipped m/m to 23.9%. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) Imports' share of the U.S. car market fell to 32.3% for January versus the record 35.0% for all of 2010. Imports' share of the light truck market fell m/m to 15.9%. It remained below the 16.5% during all of last year and the record 19.7% in 2009.

The U.S. vehicle sales figures can be found in Haver's USECON database.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Jan Dec Nov Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Total 12.62 12.55 12.26 17.4% 11.58 10.38 13.22
 Autos 6.09 6.11 5.89 7.2 5.78 5.45 6.76
  Domestic 4.12 4.01 3.72 8.4 3.78 3.56 4.44
  Imported 1.97 2.10 2.16 4.8 2.02 1.89 2.32
 Light Trucks 6.53 6.44 6.37 28.9 5.80 4.93 6.46
  Domestic 5.49 5.41 5.30 34.1 4.84 3.96 5.28
  Imported 1.04 1.03 1.07 7.2 0.96 0.97 1.18
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