Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Feb 01 2024

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Fall Sharply in January

  • Light truck and passenger car sales weaken significantly.
  • Imports' market share declines.

The Autodata Corporation reported that light vehicle sales declined 6.6% in January (-0.9% y/y) to 15.12 million units (SAAR) following a 4.2% December gain and a 0.7% November slip. Sales were at the lowest level since March of last year.

Sales of light trucks declined 6.8% (-0.7% y/y) during January to 12.0 million units (SAAR) after rising 4.0% in December. Purchases of domestically-made light trucks were off 5.0% (-2.1% y/y) to 9.24 million units after rising 5.2% in December. Sales of imported light trucks weakened 12.1% (+4.2% y/y) to 2.76 million units after rising 0.3% during December and 3.0% in November.

Trucks' share of the light vehicle market edged lower to 79.4% last month compared to 79.6% in December. Nevertheless, it remained near a record share.

Auto sales fell 5.4% (-0.9% y/y) last month to 3.13 million units (SAAR) following a 4.7% December gain. Purchases of domestically-produced cars declined 8.5% (-2.3% y/y) in January to 2.16 million units after a 6.8% December gain. Sales of imported autos rose 2.1% both m/m and y/y to 0.97 million after holding steady in December.

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market fell to 24.7% in January from 25.5% in December, but remained above a May 2023 low of 22.3%. Imports' share of the passenger car market rose to 31.0% in January from 28.7% in December. It reached a high of 37.9% in September 2021. Imports' share of the light truck market eased to 23.0% in January from 24.4% in December.

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

  • 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.

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