March 5, 2013 – Improvements in housing and construction played a key role in February’s vehicle sales uptick as light-truck sales were responsible for most of the month’s gains, NAFCU Staff Economist Curt Long noted.
Light-truck sales increased from 7.4 million units to 7.6 million units in February on an annualized basis. “That increase helped offset car sales,” Long said, “which decreased from January's level of 7.9 million units to 7.8 million units, annualized.”
Total vehicle sales in February rose from 15.3 million units to 15.4 million units on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. “Low financing costs, increased credit availability and pent up demand are helping to improve vehicle sales,” Long said. “February was the fourth consecutive month of strong sales.”
February’s vehicle sales report also showed:
- Vehicle sales were up 6.1 percent in February on a year-over-year basis.
- Four of the six largest automakers saw year-over-year increases in February. The largest gain was for Ford (up 9.3 percent).
- The U.S. market share of the total vehicle market grew to 46.6 percent, up from 45.6 percent in January.
- The share of domestically assembled vehicles rose to 79.3 percent, up from 78.7 percent in January.
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