Q2 2019 Auto Market: ESA Car Keys

The US auto market (light vehicles) finished the second quarter at a SAAR pace just below 17 million units, a 1.2% year-over-year contraction.

Imports and light-trucks gained ground in overall market share, with passenger cars and domestics lagging.  Amongst automakers, Hyundai-Kia, Subaru, and VW posted share gains, while GM and Nissan gave up the most.

Some key points from the 2nd Quarter:

  • The quarter’s 16.94M SAAR for the entire US Market was off -1.2% versus Q2 2018.
  • Ram (+33.7%) and VW (+11%) posted the largest year-over-year increases among major brands.
  • Dodge (-12.2%), Jeep (-8.8%), Ford (-5.9%) and Chevy (-4.9%) were the big laggards.
  • Passenger car sales still languish, as light trucks now represent over 70% of new vehicle sales (first six months of 2019). This continues a multi-year trend.
  • The Crossover segment remains red hot, accounting for nearly 40% of the US market. Pickups are the second-largest segment at 17%.
  • Asia Pacific imports outsold domestics, cumulatively by 0.8 percentage points. Domestic vehicles now represent just over 45% of the US market
  • Concerns linger for an overall 2nd half automotive slowdown: interest rates and average transaction price putting restraints on demand.

With uncertainty on interest rates, higher transaction prices, and very high saturation of late model off-lease returns, the second half of 2019 will likely bring more contraction to the US auto market. NADA is projecting the year to finish at 16.8M units.


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SAAR: Seasonally adjusted annualized (sales) rate.
Source: ESA Car Keys 360 Data Studio. NADA Market Beat | July 2019.

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