SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 24, June 18, 2009

Vehicle Sales Rose in May, Reached 924,000

  Total Vehicle Sales
 Total vehicle sales for May climbed to 924,064 units.
 Vehicle Sales By Segment
 The midsize segment outsold compact and large segements, but compacts made a large leap forward.
 Sales by Brand Origin
 Domestic and Asian brands were up for the month, while European brands remained fairly flat.

New-vehicle sales increased in May, marking the fourth month of progressive sales increases in 2009.

Many specialty-equipment manufacturers, distributors and retailers depend heavily on new vehicle sales to supplement their sales to the used vehicle market and the continual increase is a welcome change.

Some segments of the specialty-equipment industry, particularly the light-truck market, rely on new customers to continue upgrading their new utility vehicles. With May signaling a potential long-term return to traditional levels, some companies might see some breathing room. The challenging times are far from over, however.

According to J.D. Power and Associates, total light-vehicle sales reached 924,064 units in May, up 12.81% from April and up 41.1% from the beginning of the year. Passenger car sales totaled 492,977 units while light trucks hit 431,087 units.

Even before January, passenger vehicles had been eating into light-truck market share. For the past three months however, the two markets have gone relatively unchanged.

Vehicle sales are also reported by size, where vehicles are separated into groups beside their vehicle type. Passenger sedans are separated into compact, midsize and large segments, for example. Similarly, pickup trucks fall into the midsize and large group since there are no compact trucks on the market.

The reason for this classification is to understand if any movement can be attributed to vehicle size rather than vehicle type. Since the beginning of 2009, compact vehicles from each type have increased in popularity and are consuming more market share.

A third measure of market share is based on manufacturer origin, with sales separated into domestic, Asian and European brands. Much like the increase in share for compact vehicles, the domestic brands have captured more of the market since the beginning of 2009.

At 45.82% of total vehicle sales, the domestic manufacturers sell more than the Asian and European brands.

–SEMA Research & Information Center

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