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Economy in Brief

U.S. Vehicle Sales Remain Under Pressure
by Tom Moeller  March 3, 2014

Frigid temperatures may be continuing to discourage car buying. Unit sales of light motor vehicles edged up a scant 0.7% to 15.34 million (SAAR) during February, unchanged year-to-year according to the Autodata Corporation. Sales have fallen 6.5% from the recovery high of 16.41 million in November.

Last month, auto purchases edged up 0.6% to a 7.34 million annual rate (-5.6% y/y). Sales of domestic autos improved 1.4% to 5.19 million (-5.6% y/y). Sales of imports declined 1.3% to 2.15 million (-5.5% y/y).

Sales of light trucks increased 0.7% m/m to 8.00 million (5.8% y/y). Sales of imported light truck sales rebounded 6.9% to 1.01 million (0.2% y/y). Domestic light truck sales, in contrast, slipped 0.1% to 6.99 million (+6.6 y/y).

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market held roughly steady at 20.6% last month. Imports' share of the U.S. car market slipped to 29.2%. Imports' share of the light truck market improved slightly to 12.6%.

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

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Feb Jan Dec Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total 15.34 15.24 15.40 0.0 15.55 14.49 12.78
 Autos 7.34 7.30 7.73 -5.6 7.77 7.42 6.23
  Domestic 5.19 5.12 5.25 -5.6 5.47 5.10 4.21
  Imported 2.15 2.17 2.48 -5.5 2.29 2.32 2.02
 Light Trucks 8.00 7.95 7.67 5.8 7.79 7.08 6.55
  Domestic 6.99 7.00 6.64 6.6 6.71 6.10 5.55
  Imported 1.01 0.95 1.03 0.2 1.08 0.97 1.00
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