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U.S. Sales Record Modest Rebound in May

U.S. Sales Record Modest Rebound in May

May’s import penetration of 22% brought the year-to-date share to 21.6%, the period’s highest in four years.

With the now-familiar theme of trucks propping up the market while cars tank, May U.S. light-vehicle sales increased year-over-year, based on daily rates.

May’s SAAR of 17.4 million units slightly topped the prior month’s 17.3 million, but fell short of year-ago’s 17.6 million, and was the second shortfall in the past three months. However, the year-to-date SAAR through May totaled 17.4 million, well above like-2015’s 16.9 million.

Based on daily rates, May’s results stopped a string of two downturns as volume averaged 63,649 over the month’s 24 selling days, 1.7% above same-month 2015’s 62,601 – 26 selling days.

Truck deliveries increased 10.5% over like-2015, with CUVs rebounding to a 11.7% gain after recording two of the segment groups’ weakest year-over-year increases in several years in March (0.9%) and April (3.5%).

CUVs were boosted by a 51.9% year-over-year increase in the Small CUV segment, which posted a 5.9% market share, beating the all-time high of 5.5% set in April.

Truck penetration increased to 58.9% from May 2015’s 54.2%, as deliveries in the SUV, Van and Pickup groups also increased.

Car sales in May declined 8.8% from like-2015 as all segments posted shortfalls for the second straight month.

Sales of domestically made LVs declined for the third straight month, dropping 0.8% from year-ago. A 5.5% increase in trucks was not enough to offset a 9.1% decline in cars. However, imports increased 11.4% on the strength of a 35% gain in trucks while cars fell 7.8%.

Import penetration increased to 22.0% in May from 20.5% a year ago, and the year-to-date share of 21.6% was the period’s highest in four years. By truck group in May, import CUVs were up 38.6%; SUVs, 18.3%; and Vans, 23.1%. Import CUVs alone accounted for 10.0% of the market, compared with 7.4% a year ago.

While nearly every manufacturer recorded a gain, two of the three biggest automakers, General Motors and Toyota, posted declines. BMW and Volkswagen/Audi also posted downturns.

Double-digit increases were recorded by Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche, Tesla and Volvo.

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