Jan. 7, 2013 – Vehicle sales were strong last month – despite a slight dip from November – and are expected to remain strong amid pent-up demand and a strengthening economy, NAFCU economists said Friday.
The research firm AutoData Corp. reported total vehicle sales in December at 15.4 million units, annualized, down from November’s 15.5 million. But sales were up 12.9 percent over the past 12 months.
Car sales totaled 7.9 million units, annualized (down 0.1 million), while sales of light trucks stayed consistent at 7.5 million annualized units. Five of the six largest automakers reported increases in year-over-year sales numbers. Meanwhile, the U.S. brand share of the total vehicle market increased from 42.2 percent in November to 44.8 percent in December.
The share of domestically assembled vehicles rose from 77 percent to 78.2 percent.
Doug Christman, NAFCU’s research assistant, said December sales were helped by an improving labor market, easing credit and year-end sales incentives. “Strong December vehicle sales resulted in the best end-of-year sales in the last five years,” he said.
For more, see NAFCU’s Macro Data Flash report (login required).