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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Weaken Significantly
by Tom Moeller  April 3, 2017

Total sales of light vehicles declined 5.4% m/m during March (-0.3% y/y) to 16.62 million units (SAAR), according to the Autodata Corporation. It was the lowest level of sales since February 2015.

Light truck sales fell 6.8% (+6.3% y/y) to 10.30 million. Domestically-made light truck sales were off 6.8% (+5.5% y/y) to 8.65 million units. Imported light truck sales similarly declined 6.8% (+10.8% y/y) to 1.65 million units. Trucks' share of the U.S. vehicle market eased to 62.0% from the record of 62.8% during February.

Passenger car sales eased 3.2% (-9.4% y/y) to 6.32 million units. Domestically-made passenger car sales fell 1.7% to 4.60 million units (-10.6% y/y), the lowest level since December 2011. Sales of imported passenger cars fell 6.9% (-6.0% y/y) to 1.73 million units.

Imports share of the U.S. vehicle market eased m/m to 20.3%. Imports share of the passenger car market declined to 27.3%, a three-month low. Imports share of the light truck market held steady at 16.0%, up from 12.7% during all of 2014.

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

Light Weight Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Million Units) Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 16.62 17.58 17.61 -0.3 17.55 17.42 16.52
 Autos 6.32 6.53 6.58 -9.4 7.11 7.72 7.92
  Domestic 4.60 4.67 4.67 -10.6 5.20 5.63 5.68
  Imported 1.73 1.86 1.91 -6.0 1.91 2.09 2.24
 Light Trucks 10.30 11.05 11.03 6.3 10.44 9.70 8.60
  Domestic 8.65 9.28 9.22 5.5 8.75 8.34 7.51
  Imported 1.65 1.77 1.80 10.8 1.68 1.36 1.09
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