March 04, 2014

Vehicle sales up slightly in February

March 5, 2014 – Winter weather has slowed vehicle sales for the past three months, with February's sales numbers rising just slightly to 15.3 million seasonally adjusted, annualized units, according to NAFCU Senior Economist Curt Long.

January vehicle sales totaled 15.2 million annualized units. Meanwhile, February sales levels were unchanged from a year ago, according to data published by Autodata Corp.

Car sales remained relatively flat at 7.3 million annualized units in February. Sales of light trucks were also flat, totaling 8 million annualized units. "Car sales were down 5.5 percent since last year, but light-truck sales increased and offset the decline in car sales," Long said in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. "It remains to be seen how much vehicle sales recover once the weather improves."

Two of the six largest automakers reported increases in their year-over-year sales numbers. The U.S. brand share of the total vehicle market increased from 44.5 percent in January to 46.8 percent in February. The share of domestically assembled vehicles increased from 78.9 percent to 80 percent.

Long said vehicle sales are expected to improve and support the economy throughout the year.