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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Improve In June
by Tom Moeller  July 2, 2020

• Car & light truck sales continue to increase m/m, but remain off 23.7% y/y.

• Auto sales rise more m/m than trucks.

The Autodata Corporation reported that sales of light vehicles rose 8.1% last month (-23.7% y/y) to 13.15 million units (SAAR) from 12.17 million in May. Sales had hit a low of 8.66 million low in April.

Despite the monthly increases, sales averaged 11.33 million in Q2 2020 versus an average 15.16 million in Q1 2020, and 16.88 million in Q4 2019. Lower vehicle sales subtracted 0.84 percentage points from Q1 growth real GDP.

Auto sales increased 11.1% (-39.3% y/y) last month to 3.01 million units and remained well below their peak level of 7.71 million unit sales reached in 2014. Purchases of domestically-produced cars rose 8.6% (-43.1% y/y) to 2.01 million units. Sales of imported cars improved 16.3% m/m (-30.1% y/y) to 1.00 million units.

Sales of light trucks improved 7.2% (-17.4% y/y) during June to 10.14 million units. Purchases of domestically-made light trucks rose 5.4% (-23.1% y/y) to 7.57 million units. Sales of imported light trucks strengthened 12.7% (5.8% y/y) to 2.57 million units.

Trucks' share of the U.S. light vehicle market eased slightly from a record high to 77.1%, but remained up from a low of 48.8% during all of 2012.

Imports' share of the U.S. vehicle market rose last month to 27.1%. Imports' share of the passenger car market improved to 33.2%. Imports share of the light truck market increased to 25.3% and remained up from the 12.0% low in January 2015.

U.S. vehicle sales figures can be found in Haver's USECON database. Additional detail by manufacturer is in the INDUSTRY database.

Light Weight Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Million Units) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Total 13.15 12.17 8.66 -23.7 16.99 17.27 17.23
 Autos 3.01 2.71 2.03 -39.3 4.80 5.36 6.16
  Domestic 2.01 1.85 1.48 -43.1 3.52 4.00 4.58
  Imported 1.00 0.86 0.55 -30.1 1.28 1.36 1.59
 Light Trucks 10.14 9.46 6.63 -17.4 12.18 11.92 11.07
  Domestic 7.57 7.18 5.26 -23.1 9.65 9.44 9.00
  Imported 2.57 2.28 1.37 5.8 2.53 2.48 2.07
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