Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Jun 03 2024

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Improve in May

  • Light truck and passenger car sales edge higher.
  • Imports' market share declines sharply.

The Autodata Corporation reported that U.S. light vehicle sales rose 1.1% (3.1% y/y) to 16.08 million units (SAAR) in May after rising 2.2% to 15.90 million in April. Sales averaged 15.43 million in Q1 and 15.263 million during all of last year. The rise accompanied 1.0% y/y growth in real disposable income through April and 3.8% growth logged last year.

Sales of light trucks rose 0.5% (5.1% y/y) during May to 12.90 million units (SAAR) after rising 2.3% in April. Purchases of domestically-made light trucks improved 3.5% (3.3% y/y) to 10.00 million units, after edging 0.3% higher in April. Sales of imported light trucks declined 8.5% (+11.5% y/y) to 12.90 million units and reversed an 8.9% April increase.

Trucks' 80.2% share of the light vehicle market last month compared to 80.6% in April and 78.7% in May of last year. Their share was 79.4% during all of 2013.

Auto sales rose 3.9% (-3.9% y/y) to 3.19 million units (SAAR) in May following a 0.3% April improvement. Purchases of domestically-produced cars strengthened 9.6% (-1.6% y/y) last month to 2.40 million units after rising 2.8% in April. Sales of imported autos fell 11.4 % both m/m and y/y to 0.78 million units after declining 5.4% in April. It was the fourth decline in the last five months.

Imports' share of the U.S. light vehicle market plummeted to 22.9% in May from 25.5% in April. It compared to a May 2023 low of 22.3% and reached a high of 26.3% in November of last year. Imports' share of the passenger car market fell to 24.5% from 28.7% in April. It reached a high of 37.9% in September 2021. Imports' share of the light truck market weakened to 22.5% from 24.7% in April.

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.

    More in Author Profile »

More Economy in Brief