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.


U.S. Automotive Production

U.S. Auto Production Increased in December 2023

In December 2023, U.S. auto production increased to 144,400 units—an increase of 2% from the previous month and a 7% increase year-over-year.

Michigan Vehicle Production

Michigan Vehicle Production Down from Year Ago

Michigan vehicle production totaled 164,301 units in September 2023, decreasing 15.6 from September 2022. Michigan accounted for 18.0% of the U.S. total production this month. In September 2023, auto production increased 15.0 percent year-over-year in Michigan and up 1.7 percent nationally; truck production decreased 18.5 percent in Michigan but was down 4.2 percent nationally.

Annual U.S. Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR)

New-Vehicle Sales Slow in Growth in January

January is typically one of the lowest-volume sales months in any given year. January SAAR came in at 15.0 million, an slight decrease of 0.7 % from last year’s 15.1 million.  According to Cox Automotive, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), or sales pace, in January is forecasted to finish near 15.8 million, down just slightly from the 15.9 million SAAR in December but up 0.7 million over last year’s pace. The SAAR has bounced between 15.0 and 16.0 million throughout 2023, and this month’s results are expected to remain within these boundaries.

2024 Forecast 

The Cox Automotive Economic and Industry Insights team anticipates weak economic growth, higher new-vehicle inventories, and an end to the seller’s market. Overall, the team expects 2024 to be the best year for car buyers since the pandemic.

Monthly U.S. Light Vehicle Sales

Vehicle Sales Slow in January 2024

Monthly U.S. vehicle sales in January totaled 1.11 million units down 25% compared to the previous month, but up 3% from year-ago levels.  January is typically one of the lowest-volume sales months in any given year.

Automotive Manufacturing Employment

Vehicle Manufacturing Employment Still Recovering From UAW Strikes

Michigan’s automotive manufacturing employment totaled 163,500 in December 2023, decreasing 3% compared to the previous year.  Michigan’s vehicle manufacturing employment decreased 6% in October 2023 due to the UAW strikes and have yet to recover to levels seen before strikes.

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

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