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HomeNewsEconomyU.S. Light Motor Vehicle Sales Beat Forecast, Remain Near 12-Month High

U.S. Light Motor Vehicle Sales Beat Forecast, Remain Near 12-Month High

Sales of Imported Light Trucks Hit New High

Buying American Made Cars. Supporting the American auto industry and economy photomontage with automobiles and the American Flag. (Photo: AdobeStock)

Sales of U.S. light motor vehicles came in at 17.49 million units (SAAR) in November, near the 12-month high and beating the forecast. Despite softness in the auto component of the retail sales report, the rate is only a slight 0.2% decline (-0.8% y/y).

Passenger car sales fueled the overall rate by declining 4.8% (-14.5% y/y) to 5.37 million units. That reversed a modest gain from October. Sales of domestically made cars dropped 5.3% (-13.6% y/y) to 3.95 million units, offsetting the gains in October. Sales of imported passenger cars, down three of the last four months, fell 2.7% (-16.3% y/y) to 1.43 million units.

U.S. light truck sales gained 1.9% in November to 12.12 million units, reversing the decline in October. Sales are nearly at the all-time record high and are 6.8% higher year-over-year.

Sales of domestically-produced light trucks increased 2.2% (4.4% y/y) to 9.71 million units, also reversing the decline in October. Overall, the sales trend is definitely increasing, threatening to set another record high. Sales of imported light trucks gained 0.8% (17.6% y/y) to 2.41 million units, a new record high.

The share of the U.S. vehicle market for trucks reached a record 69.3% in November, a stark improvement from the low of 47.3% all through 2009.

The share of the U.S. vehicle market for imports fell last month at 22.0%, down from the high of 27.6% during 2009. Imports’ share of the passenger car market rose to 26.6%. Imports share of the light truck market was little changed near the cycle high of 19.9%, up from the low of 12.7% in 2014.

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U.S. Light Weight Vehicle Sales (SAAR, Million Units)

Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 17.49 17.53 17.44 -0.8 17.23 17.55 17.48
 Autos 5.37 5.64 5.41 -14.5 6.33 7.10 7.73
  Domestic 3.95 4.17 3.91 -13.6 4.58 5.20 5.64
  Imported 1.43 1.47 1.49 -16.3 1.75 1.90 2.10
 Light Trucks 12.12 11.89 12.03 6.8 10.90 10.44 9.74
  Domestic 9.71 9.50 9.63 4.4 9.00 8.75 8.37
  Imported 2.41 2.39 2.40 17.6 1.90 1.69 1.38


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