skip to Main Content

On the radar: August motor vehicle sales put on a little speed

Sales of motor vehicles in August were up to 17.0 million units (SAAR) from 16.8 million units in July. The rise in sales isn’t huge, but it will add a little speed to the pace of overall retail spending for the month when the report is issued on Friday, September 13 at 8:30 ET.

Sales of passenger cars were flat at 4.6 million units in August while light trucks gained a bit to 12.4 million. Light trucks — which includes SUVs, minivans, and crossovers — tend to be more expensive than passenger cars and will boost the dollar value of sales.

Sales of domestic passenger cars were slightly higher at 3.391 million units in August from 3.378 million in July, while foreign motor vehicle sales were down at 1.185 million units from 1.248 million units. Domestic light truck sales were only a little higher at 9.745 million units from 9.713 million units, while foreign light trucks were up to 2.647 million units after 2.503 million.

Heavy truck sales rose to 534,000 units in August from 516,000 in July and was the first month-over-month increase after three declines. It was a hint that business investment in equipment may have a bit of pent-up demand at the mid point of the third quarter and could improve some business spending.

Back To Top