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Economy in Brief

U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Ease
by Tom Moeller  June 1, 2017

Light vehicle sales continue to soften. Total sales of light vehicles fell 1.3% during May to 16.66 million units (SAAR) from 16.88 million in April, according to the Autodata Corporation. Sales fell 3.0% y/y. During the first five months of 2017, sales declined 1.7% y/y versus the first five months of 2016.

Light truck sales remained unchanged (2.9% y/y) versus April at 10.46 million. Imported light truck sales increased 2.4% (7.6% y/y) to a record 1.93 million units. Sales of domestically-made light trucks eased 0.6% (+1.8% y/y) to 8.53 million units. Trucks' share of the U.S. vehicle market equaled the record 62.8%, up from 59.2% twelve months earlier.

Passenger car sales declined 3.4% (-11.4% y/y) to 6.20 million units. Domestically-made passenger car sales fell 3.7% (-11.3% y/y) to 4.52 million units, the lowest level since December 2011. Sales of imported passenger cars declined 2.7% (-11.7% y/y) to 1.68 million units.

Imports share of the U.S. vehicle market improved m/m to 21.7%. Imports share of the passenger car market rose slightly to 27.1%. Imports share of the light truck market inched higher to 18.4%, 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) May Apr Mar May Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 16.66 16.88 16.62 -3.0 17.55 17.42 16.52
 Autos 6.20 6.42 6.32 -11.4 7.11 7.72 7.92
  Domestic 4.52 4.70 4.60 -11.3 5.20 5.63 5.68
  Imported 1.68 1.73 1.73 -11.7 1.91 2.09 2.24
 Light Trucks 10.46 10.46 10.30 2.9 10.44 9.70 8.60
  Domestic 8.53 8.58 8.65 1.8 8.75 8.34 7.51
  Imported 1.93 1.88 1.65 7.6 1.68 1.36 1.09
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