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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Decline in February
by Tom Moeller  March 1, 2022

• Both auto & light truck sales reverse some of January's gain.

• Imports' share increases to five-month high.

The Autodata Corporation reported that light vehicle sales during February fell 6.9% (-12.3% y/y) to 14.15 million units (SAAR). Sales were 23.5% below the April '21 peak of 18.50 million units.

Sales of light trucks declined 7.4% (-10.7% y/y) last month to 11.18 million units. Purchases of domestically-made light trucks weakened 8.3% in February (-12.2% y/y) to 8.62 million units. Adding to this decline was a 4.5% easing (-5.2% y/y) in sales of imported light trucks to 2.56 million units.

Trucks' share of the light vehicle market slipped to 79.0% and remained below an 80.4% share in October.

Passenger car sales fell 4.5% (-17.5% y/y) in February to 2.98 million units. Purchases of domestically-produced cars declined 3.8% last month (-16.7% y/y) to 2.00 million units. Sales of imported autos eased 5.8% last month (-19.0% y/y) to 0.98 million units.

Imports' share of the U.S. vehicle market rose in February to 25.0% but it was still below last September's high of 27.9%. Imports' share of the passenger car market fell to 32.9% last month. Imports' share of the light truck market increased to 22.9%, the highest level since 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) Feb Jan Dec Feb Y/Y % 2021 2020 2019
Total 14.15 15.20 12.71 -12.3 15.10 14.58 17.06
 Autos 2.98 3.12 2.80 -17.5 3.40 3.52 4.82
  Domestic 2.00 2.08 1.89 -16.7 2.24 2.51 3.53
  Imported 0.98 1.04 0.91 -19.0 1.16 1.01 1.29
 Light Trucks 11.18 12.07 9.91 -10.7 11.70 11.07 12.24
  Domestic 8.62 9.40 7.78 -12.2 9.03 8.65 9.70
  Imported 2.56 2.68 2.13 -5.2 2.67 2.41 2.54
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