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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Pull Back
by Tom Moeller  November 2, 2012

Light vehicle sales were under pressure last month. Unit sales of light motor vehicles during October fell 4.4% m/m (+7.2% y/y) to 14.29M (SAAR) according to the Autodata Corporation. The latest figure disappointed the Consensus estimate for 15.0M sales, according to Bloomberg.

Auto sales fell 3.1% m/m (+13.8% y/y) to 7.44M. Domestic car sales fell 2.7% to 5.16M (18.7% y/y) while imports slumped 4.0% (+4.0% y/y) to 2.28M. Light truck sales declined 5.7% (+0.8% y/y) to 6.85M the lowest level since March. Domestic light truck purchases eased 4.9% (+3.1% y/y) to 5.98M but sales of imported light trucks fell hard, by 10.8% (-12.4% y/y) to 0.87M.

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market fell to 22.0% in October. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) That share was down from its peak of 29.9% in Q1'09. The lower foreign exchange value of the dollar played a role as it made imports relatively more expensive. Imports' share of the U.S. car market slipped to 30.7% and remained down from its 37.8% monthly peak in 2010. Imports' share of the light truck market rose to 12.5% last month, down from its 23.9% peak in early '09.

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 % 2011 2010 2009
Total 14.29 14.96 14.52 7.2 12.83 11.58 10.38
 Autos 7.44 7.69 7.38 13.8 6.29 5.79 5.45
  Domestic 5.16 5.32 5.30 18.7 4.26 3.78 3.56
  Imported 2.28 2.37 2.08 4.0 2.03 2.00 1.89
 Light Trucks 6.85 7.27 7.14 0.8 6.54 5.79 4.93
  Domestic 5.98 6.30 6.28 3.1 5.54 4.84 3.96
  Imported 0.87 0.97 0.86 -12.4 1.00 0.96 0.97
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