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US Auto Sales Took a Dive in February 2018 after January Gains


Mar. 9 2018, Published 2:39 p.m. ET

US auto sales in February 2018

The US auto industry began 2018 on a positive note and saw strength in January. However, all of its sales gains were erased in February. According to the data compiled by Autodata, February 2018 US auto sales (XLY) stood at 1.30 million vehicle units, ~2.4% lower than ~1.33 million vehicle units in February 2017.

Nevertheless, February’s total US vehicle sales figures were much higher than the 1.15 million vehicle units sold in January 2018. This improvement happened partly because auto sales at the beginning of the year tend to be softer due to high holiday discounts offered by auto companies at the end of the year.

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Truck sales remained positive

In February 2018, US small car sales continued to drop significantly by 12.6% YoY (year-over-year) to 0.43 million vehicles. In contrast, the sales of utility vehicles and trucks were at 0.86 million units, a handsome increase of 3.8% YoY.

In 2017, truck sales also showcased strength and rose 1.3% YoY to 1.08 million units. With this, US auto sales in 2017 fell 1.8% compared to the previous year. While car sales in the country fell 10.9%, YoY truck sales jumped 4.3% YoY last year.

In the first two months of 2018, US consumer sentiments remained near their highest level since 2004 with a positive trend intact. In general, strength in consumer sentiments typically reflects consumers’ optimism about the economy and is considered positive for auto demand.

Note that the largest single auto market in North America, the United States, is also the second-largest vehicle market in the world after China by sales volume. Mainstream automakers, including Ford Motor Company (F), Toyota Motor (TM), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU), and General Motors (GM), garner a large share of their revenues from the United States.

Series preview

In this series, we’ll explore the February 2018 sales figures of key US auto companies. We’ll find out what these sales figures could mean for these automakers’ future growths. We’ll also learn what analysts are recommending for these US automakers’ stocks following the release of their February 2018 sales data.

We’ll begin by learning about Ford’s February 2018 US sales data in the next article.


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