MICHauto > Automotive Economic Indicators

Automotive Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Data and Research team tracks key statistics highlighting the Detroit region’s automotive economic growth and recovery.

Annual U.S. Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR)

October’s annual U.S. light vehicle sales reach highest since January 2022

In October 2022, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) increased to approximately 14.9 million light vehicle units, from 13.6 million units in September 2022, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  The October SAAR was the highest SAAR since January 2022 and a 12.7% increase from last year’s 13.2 million and up 9.8% from September’s 13.6 million.

At the beginning of 2020, approximately 16.8 million light vehicle units were anticipated to be sold in the United States for the year.  The ongoing chip shortage is not yet finished, but has eased substantially since its peak. According to Cox Automotive, U.S. light-vehicle sales are expected to reach 15.3 million in 2022, down 700,000 units from the original forecast from January

Monthly U.S. Light Vehicle Sales

Improving inventory and steady demand helped automakers post their best U.S. light-vehicle sales month since April 2022. 

Monthly U.S. vehicle sales increased 9.7% to 1.19 million units sold in October 2022. According to senior economist at Cox Automotive, Charlie Chesbrough, rising interest rates are pushing monthly payments higher for everyone, and many potential buyers are being knocked out of the market. 

In April 2020, light vehicles sales in the United States experienced the lowest total since early 2010, selling 717,578 units. A decline in sales began in March 2020 with 994,707 units sold, but April was the first full month with widespread manufacturing shutdowns following the stay-at-home orders and closure of nonessential businesses. When comparing April 2019 to April 2020, sales decreased by 85% year over year.

U.S. Automotive Production

In September 2022, U.S. auto production decreased to 153,900 units—a 3% increase from the previous month. Production dramatically decreased to 1,700 in April 2020 due to pandemic restrictions. Followed by the global microchip shortage coming out of the pandemic drastically reduced production, leading to low inventories on dealer lots and lower sales volumes, shortages are not yet finished but production has begun to rebound

To view additional economic indicators, visit the Chamber’s Regional Overview of Monthly Economic Indicators.

Lansing Michigan

Advocate for our signature industry.

MICHauto engages all levels of government in support of policies to maintain Michigan’s global automotive and mobility leadership.

See Our Legislative Priorities