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Economy in Brief

Stronger Trucks Drove U.S. Light Vehicle Sales
by Tom Moeller October 4, 2004

Unit sales of light vehicles rose 5.5% m/m in September to a 17.51M selling rate, just under the year's high of 17.71M set back in May. Consensus expectations had been for sales of 16.7M.

Sales of light trucks surged 7.7% m/m to the highest level in nearly three years. Domestic light truck sales of 9.0M were 10.8% higher than a year ago but imported light truck sales of 1.1.20M were down 3.6% y/y.

Total auto sales rose a moderate 2.5% m/m with domestics up 2.1% (-5.2% y/y) and imports up 3.5% (-0.5% y/y).

In September imports' share of the US market for new vehicles plummeted to 18.7%, the lowest level this year.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil.Units) Sept Aug Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total 17.51 16.60 3.1% 16.69 16.81 17.26
  Autos 7.33 7.15 -3.9% 7.63 8.07 8.48
  Trucks 10.18 9.45 8.9% 9.06 8.74 8.78
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