January vehicle sales slowed by gov’t shutdown

Total vehicle sales decreased to a rate of 16.7 million annualized units in January. NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long attributed the loss to the lasting effects of the government shutdown.

“The vehicle market began the year slowly as sales fell sharply in January,” Long said in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. “The main culprits appear to be a cold snap at the end of the month, along with the effects of the government shutdown. The University of Michigan’s gauge of consumer sentiment fell to its lowest level during the Trump presidency in January, which analysts attributed to the shutdown.”

Car sales increased from 5.3 million annualized units to 5.5 million annualized units during the month. Meanwhile, sales of light trucks fell from 12.2 million annualized units to 11.3 million annualized units.

Results among the largest automakers were generally poor. All of the main manufacturers suffered sales declines during the month except for Ford, whose sales rose a surprising 7 percent.


continue reading »