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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Are Off Highs, But Up Year-to-Year
by Tom Moeller  November 4, 2013

Unit sales of light motor vehicles last month edged 0.3% lower (+5.8% y/y) versus September to 15.23 million (SAAR), according to the Autodata Corporation. The latest level of sales compares to the August peak of 16.09 million.

Light truck sales were firm and inched up 0.6% (9.0% y/y) in October to 7.61 million. Strongest were sales of imported light trucks which increased 2.0% month-to-month (27.6% y/y) to 1.12 million. Domestic light truck sales gained 0.4% (6.4% y/y) to 6.49 million.

Offsetting these gains was 1.2% m/m (+2.8% y/y) slip in auto sales to 7.63 million. Domestic car sales ticked 0.8% higher (4.2% y/y) to 5.40 million but sales of imports fell 5.8% (-0.4% y/y) to 2.23 million.

Imports share of the U.S. light vehicle market fell m/m to 22.0% during October. (Imported vehicles are those produced outside the United States.) That share remained down from its peak of 29.9% in Q1'09. Imports' share of the U.S. car market fell m/m to 29.3% and remained down from its 37.6% monthly peak in 2010. Imports' share of the light truck market was roughly flat at 14.7%.

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

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Oct Sep Aug Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Total 15.23 15.28 16.09 5.8 14.49 12.78 11.59
 Autos 7.63 7.72 8.03 2.8 7.42 6.23 5.77
  Domestic 5.40 5.35 5.64 4.2 5.10 4.21 3.76
  Imported 2.23 2.37 2.39 -0.4 2.32 2.02 2.01
 Light Trucks 7.61 7.56 8.06 9.0 7.08 6.55 5.82
  Domestic 6.49 6.46 6.97 6.4 6.10 5.55 4.86
  Imported 1.12 1.10 1.09 27.6 0.97 1.00 0.96
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