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)

February’s SAAR marks the seventh straight month of year-over-year SAAR increases.

In February 2023, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) declined to 14.9 million light vehicle units, which was an 8.6% increase from last year’s 13.7 million but down 6.2% from January revised 15.9 million, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. According to Cox Automotive, sales volume in February were up from 2022 and near 1.13 million units. Still, last month delivered among the lowest February totals in a decade. The days of 17 million SAAR remain well in the rearview mirror. The February SAAR boost was likely aided by higher inventory and incentive spending.

2023 Forecast 

Despite pressures on the economy and consumers, analysts expect U.S. sales to increase in 2023. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), anticipates U.S. sales will rise to 14.6 million in 2023. Production will continue to struggle through supply shortages and consumers will continue to face high vehicle prices, higher interest rates, and low inventory levels.

Monthly U.S. Light Vehicle Sales

Monthly U.S. vehicle sales volume increased 8.4% to 1.16 million units sold in February 2023.  According to  Cox Automotive, the vehicle market right now is healthy in comparison, but the market has also clearly shifted due to elevated prices, higher auto loan rates, and a focus on high-end buyers. Sales volume in February was up from 2022.

U.S. Automotive Production

In January 2023, U.S. auto production decreased to 137,400 units—a 2.9% decrease 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