by Bill McBride on 4/01/2010 04:00:00 PM
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Click on graph for larger image in new window.
This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales (seasonally adjusted annual rate) from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for March (red, light vehicle sales of 11.78 million SAAR from AutoData Corp).
This is a 13.9% increase from the February sales rate.
The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.
Excluding August '09 (Cash-for-clunkers), this is the highest level since September 2008. The current level of sales are very low, and are at about the low point for the '90/'91 recession (even with a larger population now).
Most forecasts were for sales over 12 million (SAAR), so the sales rate is a little disappointing given all the incentive programs in March.