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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Purchases Increase
by Tom Moeller  October 3, 2016

Total sales of light vehicles during September increased 4.5% (-1.6% y/y) to 17.76 million units (SAAR), and reversed most of August's decline.

Auto sales increased 6.9% to 7.24 million units (-8.3% y/y) following a 4.5% drop. The rise reflected a 7.9% rebound (-8.8% y/y) in domestic car sales to 5.30 million units, following the prior month's 4.8% decline. Imported car sales rose 4.4% (-6.8% y/y) to 1.94 million units, and made up August's 3.7% shortfall.

Sales of light trucks improved 2.9% (3.6% y/y) to 10.51 million units after a 5.3% decline. Domestic light truck sales recovered 3.8% (0.9% y/y) to 8.85 million units after a 6.3% decline. Sales of imported light trucks were off 2.0% (+20.3% y/y) to 1.66 million units following a 0.4% improvement. Truck sales eased m/m to 59.2% of the light vehicle market, but remained up from 55.6% during all of last year.

Imports share of the light vehicle market of 20.3% compared to 19.8% during all of last year. Imports share of the passenger car market of 26.8% compared to 27.1% during all of 2015. Imports share of the light truck market rose to 15.8% from 14.0% last year, though that was lower than the 17.5% peak during May.

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

Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Mil. Units) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 17.76 17.00 17.88 -1.6 17.41 16.52 15.59
 Autos 7.24 6.78 7.09 -8.3 7.72 7.92 7.77
  Domestic 5.30 4.91 5.16 -8.8 5.63 5.68 5.48
  Imported 1.94 1.86 1.93 -6.8 2.09 2.24 2.30
 Light Trucks 10.51 10.22 10.79 3.6 9.69 8.60 7.82
  Domestic 8.85 8.52 9.10 0.9 8.33 7.51 6.74
  Imported 1.66 1.70 1.69 20.3 1.36 1.09 1.08
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