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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Strengthen in October
by Tom Moeller  November 1, 2022

• Sales rise to highest level in nine months.

• Auto & light trucks strengthen equally.

• Imported vehicle gain lags somewhat.

The Autodata Corporation reported that light vehicle sales during October rose 11.4% (14.1% y/y) to 15.28 million units (SAAR) from 13.72 million in September. Sales still remain significantly below the April 2021 peak 18.37 million. Vehicle sales comprise about four percent of real consumer expenditures.

Auto sales rose 12.1% during October (22.0% y/y) to 3.33 million units, a fifteen-month high, after increasing 1.4% during September. Purchases of domestically-made autos rose 16.0% in October (37.4% y/y) to 2.46 million units following a 6.5% September rise. Sales of imported autos improved 2.3% (-6.4% y/y) to 0.88 million units after falling 5.5% in September.

Sales of light trucks strengthened 11.1% (12.0% y/y) to 11.94 million units, the` highest level in nine months. Purchases of domestically-produced light trucks rose 11.4% last month (10.9% y/y) to 9.19 million units after rising 2.2% in September. Sales of imported light trucks improved 10.4% (16.5% y/y) to 2.76 million after rising 2.9% in September.

Trucks' share of the light vehicle market eased to 78.1% in October from 78.4% in September.

Imports' total share of the U.S. vehicle market eased to 23.8% last month after falling to 24.5% in September. Imports' share of the passenger car market fell sharply to 26.4% last month and remained down from the September 2021 high of 37.9%. Imports' share of the light truck market edged lower to 23.1%.

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

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