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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Are Little Changed; Imports Share Jumps
by Tom Moeller  June 1, 2016

Total sales of light vehicles during May edged 0.2% higher versus April (-1.4% y/y) to 17.45 million units (SAAR).

Auto sales improved 0.8% to 7.12 million units (-11.3% y/y). The increase was led by a 1.1% rise (-11.7% y/y) in domestic car sales to 5.16 million. Imported car sales were unchanged at 1.95 million (-10.4% y/y). Auto sales were 14.0% below the recent peak level in August 2014.

Sales of light trucks eased 0.3% (+6.8% y/y) to 10.33 million units. Sales of imported light trucks increased 9.4% (35.2% y/y) to a record 1.78 million units. Domestic light truck sales declined 2.1% (+2.3% y/y) to 8.55 million units. Truck sales eased to 59.2% of the light vehicle market.

Imports share of the light vehicle market rose to 21.4%, the highest level since December 2013. Imports share of the passenger car market of 27.4% compared to 27.1% during all of last year. Imports share of the light truck market jumped to 17.2%, the highest level since March 2010.

U.S. vehicle sales figures are published by Autodata and can be found in Haver's USECON database.

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) May Apr Mar May Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 17.45 17.42 16.57 -1.4 17.42 16.52 15.59
 Autos 7.12 7.06 6.91 -11.3 7.72 7.92 7.77
  Domestic 5.16 5.11 5.12 -11.7 5.63 5.68 5.48
  Imported 1.95 1.95 1.79 -10.4 2.09 2.24 2.30
 Light Trucks 10.33 10.36 9.66 6.8 9.69 8.60 7.82
  Domestic 8.55 8.73 8.21 2.3 8.33 7.51 6.74
  Imported 1.78 1.63 1.45 35.2 1.37 1.09 1.08
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