Vehicles Sales Decrease to 15.5 million SAAR in March; Up 4% YoY

Wards Auto released their estimate of light vehicle sales for February: Affordability Front-and-Center in March U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Gain (pay site).

Combined market share of non-luxury small cars and small and midsize CUVs increased to 42.1% in March from same-month-2023’s 36.5%. Thanks to that boost, total deliveries in March increased year-over-year despite a decline in sales of all pickups, SUVs, vans, midsize cars and luxury-priced cars. The trend was largely true over the entire first quarter, as deliveries of more affordable vehicles led the three-month period to a 5.1% year-over-year gain.

Vehicle SalesClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows light vehicle sales since 2006 from the BEA (blue) and Wards Auto’s estimate for March (red).

Sales in March (15.49 million SAAR) were down 2.0% from February, and up 3.8% from March 2023.

The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.

Vehicle SalesVehicle sales are usually a transmission mechanism for Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy, although far behind housing.  This time vehicle sales were more suppressed by supply chain issues and are up year-over-year.

Sales in March were below the consensus forecast.