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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Continue To Rise
by Tom Moeller   November 2, 2011

New model offerings by vehicle manufacturers helped spur sales last month. Unit sales of light vehicles during October rose an expected, according to Bloomberg, 1.2% from September to 13.26M units (SAAR) after an 8.0% September jump. Sales were at the highest level since February.

The overall gain was led by autos which rose 6.0%, about as they did in September, to 6.43M units. That was the highest level since April. Sales of domestic cars rose 4.8% to 4.27M but still were down from the April high. Sales of more fuel efficient imported models rose 8.4% to 2.16M, the highest level in twelve months. Sales of light trucks fell 2.9% m/m to 6.83M. Domestic model sales fell 2.1% to 5.84M while sales of imported light trucks fell 7.4% to 0.98M. That reversed the September gain.

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market again rose slightly to 23.7%. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) Imports' share of the U.S. car market rose m/m to 33.6% versus the record 34.7% for all of 2009. Imports' share of the light truck market slipped to 14.4% 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) Oct Sep Aug Y/Y % 2010 2009 2008
Total 13.26 13.10 12.12 8.9 11.58 10.38 13.22
 Autos 6.43 6.07 5.71 9.6 5.79 5.45 6.76
  Domestic 4.27 4.07 3.97 16.7 3.78 3.56 4.44
  Imported 2.16 1.99 1.74 -2.2 2.00 1.89 2.32
 Light Trucks 6.83 7.03 6.41 8.2 5.79 4.93 6.46
  Domestic 5.84 5.97 5.43 9.4 4.84 3.96 5.28
  Imported 0.98 1.06 0.99 1.4 0.96 0.97 1.18
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