(February 4, 2008) – January Motor Vehicle Sales, including both domestic and imported autos and light trucks, ran at a 15.2 million annual rate, the weakest number since July.
January domestic light vehicle sales, 11.7 million at an annual rate, were down -6% from December and -8% from a year ago. Domestic autos fell -8% to 5.1 million, light trucks -5% to 6.6 million. This Compares to average domestic sales of 12.4 million in 2007, 12.8 million in 2006.
Domestic vehicle sales are slowing due partly to stronger import demand for fuel efficient imports. Foreign market share grew to 23% in 2007 compared with 22% in 2006 and 20% in 2005.
As I will discuss in a later post, the drop in auto sales is in line with the recent drop in used car prices, which I view as the best single indicator of family liquidity.