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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Improve in April
by Tom Moeller  May 3, 2022

• Auto & light truck sales rise following two months of decline.

• Sales remain constrained as parts shortages limit dealer inventory.

• Imports' share increases slightly.

The Autodata Corporation reported that light vehicle sales during April increased 7.5% (-21.1% y/y) to 14.59 million units (SAAR) after weakening 10.9% over the prior two months. Sales were 21.1% below the April 2021 peak of 18.50 million units.

Auto sales improved 13.4% (-26.0% y/y) last month to 3.13 million units, the highest level in three months. Purchases of domestically-made autos rose 14.7% in April (-21.5% y/y) to 2.19 million units. Sales of imported autos increased 10.6% (-34.7% y/y) to 0.94 million units but failed to make up the 15.8% decline during March.

Sales of light trucks rose 6.0% (-19.7% y/y) in April to 11.46 million units but fell short of recovering the prior two months' declines. Purchases of domestically-produced light truck rose 5.1% last month (-18.6% y/y) to 8.93 million units. Sales have risen 22.8% since the September 2021 low. Sales of imported light trucks rose 9.1% last month (-23.6% y/y) to 2.52 million units.

Trucks' share of the light vehicle market fell to 78.5% in April and remained below the 80.4% share six months earlier.

Imports' total share of the U.S. vehicle market improved slightly in April to 23.7% but remained well below February's 25.4% share. Imports' share of the passenger car market fell to 30.0% last month, its lowest level in five months and down from the September 2021 high of 38.1%. Imports' share of the light truck market rose slightly to 22.0%.

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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