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Car Sales

Auto Sales

What Are Auto Sales?

Car sales, normally alluded to as vehicle and truck sales, are an important economic indicator in the U.S. since they are utilized to measure consumer spending. This is a lagging economic indicator, in that vehicle and truck sales are historical data and are followed on a month to month and annual basis. All in all, when high vehicle sales numbers have been released, increased consumer spending on high-ticket things has likely currently started.

When Are Auto Sales Released?

Automakers with major sales in the U.S., to be specific Toyota Motor, General Motors, and Ford Motor, are among quick to release their new-vehicle production and sales data. The carmakers report their numbers throughout a little while, generally during the main seven day stretch of the month, and the totals are ordered when all companies have reported.

How Are Auto Sales Compiled?

Vehicle sales center around passenger cars (cars, SUVs, and so forth) and light trucks (pick-up trucks however not 18-wheelers), and regularly on new cars and trucks and not utilized ones.
Car manufacturers release their month to month sales data, and these can be gathered by third-party groups, of which one of the most widely followed is Wards Intelligence. One of the definitive sources is the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which has new vehicle sales data extending back to 1976.

Why Are Car and Truck Sales Important?

Vehicle and truck sales are an important indicator of the U.S. economy, and the automotive sector generally utilizes a huge segment of the population.

As an Economic Indicator

Every month, vehicle and light-truck manufacturers report the number of U.S.- delivered cars and light trucks they sold in the U.S. during the previous month. As with new home sales, vehicle sales are an indication of the strength of consumer spending and good faith about the outlook of the economy. As per the Center for Automotive Research, the vehicle industry historically has represented 3 percent to 3.5 percent of gross domestic product.
In view of the month to month numbers, seasonally adjusted annual sales rates are calculated, and those are the numbers market-watchers pay thoughtfulness regarding (albeit a few financial specialists like to sit tight a day or so for the total number of cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. during the month, both domestic and foreign, and compare the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate to the previous month).
A slump in automobile sales could foretell a recession, and on the other hand, a few financial experts go to car sales for indications of an economic recovery or delayed economic activity. Rising purchases of new cars and trucks would recommend that consumers have more disposable income and are probably going to make purchases on other large-ticket things, like new homes.

As a Factor in Labor

While the automobile industry's contribution to the U.S. economy has declined throughout the long term, its labor force isn't unimportant. Automakers, auto suppliers, and vehicle showrooms and parts dealers โ€” on both the manufacturing and retail sides โ€” make up a large lump of the labor force in the U.S. The car industry employed a total of around 4.3 million individuals in 2022, or around 2.5 percent of the total labor force of 165.5 million, in view of government data.

New Car Sales versus Utilized Car Sales Data

Sales of new vehicles are a better tracker of the U.S. economy in light of the fact that each new vehicle sold reflects production that adds to the country's output. While sales data from new cars and trucks are accessible every month from the major automakers, utilized vehicle sales data are not as simple to incorporate due to a wealth of individual private sales transactions.

What Is the Correlation of Auto Sales to GDP?

In light of's analysis of Fed data on sales of new vehicles and GDP in the U.S. from 1978 to 2022, there was not an exceptionally strong correlation between the two. The correlation coefficient was 0.38, which was calculated by looking at the two datasets' year-on-year change per quarter over the 45-year period. There were periods in which vehicle sales moved in lockstep with declines in economic growth, for example, just before and during the 2008 global financial crisis, and in periods of strong economic growth, for example, in 1983, when inflation was being monitored. Yet, more often than not, car sales seemed to be a weak lagging indicator of the economy. In any case, investors and analysts will generally see car sales as a leading indicator on the potential spending habits of consumers.

What Is the Trend in Car and Truck Sales?

As the U.S. economy keeps on differentiating, the significance of new vehicle and truck sales as an economic indicator might fade, as consumers in urban and suburban areas take up mass transit and alternative forms of transportation to drive to telecommute.
As the U.S. government pushes for an electric vehicle industry by the 2030s, vehicle and truck sales will be an important measure of the consumption of alternative forms of energy and away from petroleum derivatives. New vehicle sales a decade from now will show more consumer purchases of cars and trucks with electric-motor transmissions and less vehicles that run on ignition motors. New vehicle and truck sales are probably going to be a major indicator of the country's mechanical transformation and consumer spending on technology.
As of late as March 2022, jolted vehicles โ€” which incorporate cross breeds and electric vehicles โ€” represented about a fifth of total sales. Electric vehicles alone represented around 1 percent of total sales, however that number is probably going to increase as demand picks up and the greatest automakers produce more battery-controlled cars and light trucks.

Tesla has been a disruptor of the car industry since it began mass creating its line of electric vehicles in 2012, and during the next decade, the company overwhelmed sales of electric vehicles. Not at all like showrooms that are freely owned or franchised and that buy cars and trucks wholesale from the automakers, Tesla sells its cars straightforwardly to consumers, providing it with a large share of profit from every vehicle sold.


  • Vehicle sales allude to the number of cars and light trucks sold in the U.S.
  • This statistic is closely watched by financial experts and investors since the automotive industry is a critical part of the U.S. economy.
  • The automotive industry is an important part of the global economy.