Motor Vehicles Sales Dive in January, Light Trucks Down 7.8%


The BEA released two motor vehicle sales reports today, one for December and one for January. The latter was a bust.

Motor Vehicles for January

Unit vehicle sales for January came in at a modest 16.6 million annualized rate vs 17.5 million in December. This marks a slow start to first-quarter consumer spending. Weakness was centered in domestic-made light trucks where the rate fell to 8.8 million from 9.5 million. Note that this report was originally delayed due to the government shutdown.

Motor Vehicles for December

Unit vehicle sales for December came in at a moderate-to-solid 17.5 million annualized rate vs 17.4 million in November. Note that this report was originally delayed due to the government shutdown.

Both snips from Econoday.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis posts Unit Sales of Motor Vehicles at the beginning of each month, include domestic sales and imports.

January Motor Vehicle Sales

  1. Light Vehicles fell from 17.5 million to 16.6 million units SAAR: Down 5.1%
  2. Autos rose from 5.171 million to 5.237 million units SAAR: Up 1.3%
  3. Light Trucks fell from 12.321 million to 11.364 million units SAAR: Down 7.8%
  4. Total Vehicles fell from 18.0 million to 17.1 million units SAAR: Down 5.0%
  5. Domestic Light Trucks fell from 9.493 million to 8.750 million units SAAR: Down 7.8%
  6. Domestic Autos rose from 4.04 million to 4.071 million units SAAR: Up 0.1%

SAAR: Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate

​Most auto profit comes from the "light trucks" category which includes SUV.

Auto manufacturers are off to a rough start.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (6)
No. 1-4

Those $60-$70 grand pickups and suv's overflowing dealer lots,how soon before central banks step in with a bailout?They own virtually all "markets" soon they'll own (takeover)all vehicles!...……...everything (literally) will eventually will be bailedout,nothin will be allowed to fail.....central Banks and their printing presses will eventually buy/own EVERYTHING!


Now that Federal employees are getting checks again, there may be a rebound in February.


Most profits come from light trucks ... a racket protected by 25% tariffs for imports from competitors.


Hi Webej. Don’t tell people that the US has some very high tariffs compared to most other developed countries. Trump wants people to believe that the US doesn’t have tariffs. Yet there is 25% on trucks, 25% on sugar, 55% on clothing and footwear, 163% on peanuts, 350% on tobacco, etc. Plus, Trump has added extra tariffs on steel, aluminum, lumber etc.

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