by Bill McBride on 5/01/2012 04:30:00 PM
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Based on an estimate from Autodata Corp, light vehicle sales were at a 14.42 million SAAR in April. That is up 9.8% from April 2011, and up 0.7% from the sales rate last month (14.3 million SAAR in March 2012).
This was at the consensus forecast of 14.4 million SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate).
This graph shows the historical light vehicle sales from the BEA (blue) and an estimate for April (red, light vehicle sales of 14.42 million SAAR from Autodata Corp).
Click on graph for larger image.
April was above the August 2009 rate with the spike in sales from "cash-for-clunkers". Only February had a higher sales rates since early 2008.
Sales are running at over a 14 million annual sales rate through the first four months of 2012, up sharply from the same period of 2011.
The second graph shows light vehicle sales since the BEA started keeping data in 1967.
Note: dashed line is current estimated sales rate.
This shows the huge collapse in sales in the 2007 recession. This also shows the impact of the tsunami and supply chain issues on sales, especially in May and June of last year.