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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Rise To Highest Since April
by Tom Moeller   October 3, 2011

Consumers reacted to new model offerings by manufactures with enthusiasm. Unit sales of light vehicles during September rose 6.9% from August to 13.10M units (SAAR) following a 1.1% August decline. Sales were at the highest level since April, after which supply disruptions helped cause decline.

Light truck sales rose 9.6% m/m to 7.03M, a new high for the recovery. Domestic model sales rose 10.0% to 5.97M, a new recovery high. Import light truck sales rose 7.7% to 1.06M, still off 1.5% from the February high.

Sales of autos rose 6.2% m/m to 6.07M leaving them 10.6% off the March peak. Sales of domestics rose 2.7% but remained 12.0% off the peak while sales of relatively fuel efficient imports jumped 14.3%, down 10.2% from the peak back in September, 2010.

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market again ticked up to 23.3%, still near the lowest since early-2006. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) Imports' share of the U.S. car market rose m/m to 32.9% versus the record 34.7% for all of 2009. Imports' share of the light truck market slipped to 15.1% versus 19.7% in 2009.

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

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Sep Aug Jul Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Total 13.10 12.12 12.23 10.8% 11.58 10.38 13.22
 Autos 6.07 5.71 5.72 3.1 5.79 5.45 6.76
  Domestic 4.07 3.97 3.93 11.3 3.78 3.56 4.44
  Imported 1.99 1.74 1.79 -10.2 2.00 1.89 2.32
 Light Trucks 7.03 6.41 6.51 18.4 5.79 4.93 6.46
  Domestic 5.97 5.43 5.56 19.8 4.84 3.96 5.28
  Imported 1.06 0.99 0.95 11.0 0.96 0.97 1.18
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