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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Remain Firm in November
by Tom Moeller  December 1, 2021

• Auto sales edge higher.

• Light truck sales ease.

• Chip shortage continues to limit availability.

The Autodata Corporation reported that light vehicle sales during November of 13.12 million units (SAAR) were unchanged (-18.4% y/y) versus October. Despite the m/m stability, sales were 29.1% below the April peak of 18.50 million units.

Trucks' share of the light vehicle market eased to 79.5% last month from 80.3% in October. That share has improved from a low of 48.1% during all of 2009.

Passenger car sales rose 3.5% (-31.3% y/y) in November to 2.68 million units after a 2.3% October decline. Purchases of domestically-produced cars rose 11.2% last month (-32.0% y/y) to 1.89 million units after a 3.0% October gain. Down for the sixth straight month, sales of imported autos weakened 11.2% in November (-29.5% y/y) to 0.79 million units following an 11.9% October drop.

Sales of light trucks eased 0.9% (-14.3% y/y) in November to 10.43 million units after rising 8.3% in October. Purchases of domestically-made light trucks fell 1.8% in November (-13.9% y/y) to 8.08 million units. Offsetting this decline, sales of imported light trucks rose 2.2% last month (-15.8% y/y) to 2.35 million unit but remained 28.8% below April's record 3.30 million units.

Imports' share of the U.S. vehicle market fell last month to 23.9%, the lowest percentage since January. It had risen to a September high of 27.9% from 19.9% in 2015. Imports' share of the passenger car market declined to 29.5% from 34.4% in October. Imports' share of the light truck market edged higher to 22.5% after plummeting to 21.8% in October. These figures were down from 25.2% in September.

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) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
Total 13.12 13.12 12.38 -18.4 14.58 17.06 17.32
 Autos 2.68 2.59 2.65 -31.3 3.52 4.82 5.40
  Domestic 1.89 1.70 1.65 -32.0 2.51 3.53 4.05
  Imported 0.79 0.89 1.01 -29.5 1.01 1.29 1.36
 Light Trucks 10.43 10.53 9.72 -14.3 11.07 12.24 11.92
  Domestic 8.08 8.23 7.27 -13.9 8.65 9.70 9.44
  Imported 2.35 2.30 2.45 -15.8 2.41 2.54 2.48
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