Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Apr 02 2024

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Decline in March

  • Light truck & passenger car sales decline following February strengthening.
  • Imports' market share improves modestly.

The Autodata Corporation reported that U.S. light vehicle sales fell 2.8% (+2.6% y/y) to 15.41 million units (SAAR) after rising to 15.86 million in February, revised from 16.01 million. During all of Q1’24, light vehicle sales averaged 15.39 million units versus 15.79 million in Q4’23.

Sales of light trucks eased 2.4% (+4.0% y/y) during March to 12.4 million units (SAAR) after rising 7.1% in February. Purchases of domestically-made light trucks fell 3.3% (+2.1% y/y) to 9.55 million units after rising 7.9% in February. Sales of imported light trucks rose 1.1% (10.9% y/y) to 2.85 million units after a 4.1% February increase.

Trucks' share of the light vehicle market edged up to a record 80.5% last month compared to 80.1% in February.

Auto sales fell 4.7% (-1.3% y/y) to 3.01 million units (SAAR) following a 4.6% February rise. Purchases of domestically-produced cars weakened 4.1% (-3.2% y/y) in March to 2.12 million units after rising 6.3% in February. Sales of imported autos weakened 5.3% (-2.2% y/y) to 0.89 million units after holding steady in February.

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market edged higher to 24.3% in March from 23.8% in February, up versus a May 2023 low of 22.3%. Imports' share of the passenger car market eased to 29.6% in March from 29.8% in February. It reached a high of 37.9% in September 2021. Imports' share of the light truck market improved to 23.0% from 22.2% in February.

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

How Do Periods of Inflation, Recession Affect Real Earnings? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

  • Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio.   Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984.   He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C.   In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists.   Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.

    More in Author Profile »

More Economy in Brief