us car sales market

Overall U.S. Auto Industry Sales Figures

Check out the Monthly & Annual New Vehicle Sales for the United States Automotive Market

Guide Contents
Annual Sales Growth
Annual Sales Report (Units)
Monthly Report (Units)
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US Auto Industry Sales Analysis

Here you will find United States sales figures for the overall auto industry. This top level report is not broken out by manufacturer, brand or model. This report is designed to show you the size of the total U.S automotive market in terms of new unit sales. It includes both trucks and passenger vehicles. The raw data can be found at U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

We have two main tables, one that breaks out all United States new vehicle sales by month since 1976 and one that summarizes the annual numbers since 1976.

The US auto market has seen some steady growth since 1976 with the exception of a few periods of sharp decline that ultimately cloud the new vehicle sales picture. In 1976 a total of 13.3 million cars were sold and the market has seen an average 1% growth rate since then, with 2018 new car sales coming in at 17.7 million units. An average of 15 million new passenger cars and light trucks were sold every year since 1976.

The U.S market has gotten close to the magic 18 million new car sales on several occasions in the last forty years. First came the year 2000 when new car sales grew 9% from 1999 to 17.8 million units. The bursting of the tech bubble scared consumers and the following few years so 2% decline in new car sales for three years in a row.

The rest of the early to mid 2000s saw a period of relatively flat sales (some years were slightly up, some were slightly down) till 2006 when things slowed down again meaningfully. Sales had already started to cool in 2006 and 2007 (declines of -2.27% and 3.45% respectively) when the mother of all financial crisis’ really devastated the industry in terms of new car sales. 2008 saw a decline in new vehicle sales of 18% followed by 2009 which saw sales decline a further 21%.

From a peak of almost 18 million new car sales in 2000, it took another 15 years till 2015 for the new car market to get back to that mark. Things stayed flat in 2016 and were slightly down in 2017 with things holding steady in 2018. It remains to be seen how things change in the U.S automarket in terms of new car sales but as things like the sharing economy and alternative mobility continue to concern automakers while a booming economy continues to push the industry along.

United States Total Automotive Growth Chart

Below is the unit volume sales and unit growth rate of the vehicle industry in the United States.

United States Market Total Automotive Sales Annually

Below we have a table that shows US Automotive sales since 1976. This data captures both trucks and passenger car sales. We found a great data source in U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and were able to aggregate the data into the below format. We have US automotive sales data at the unit sales level for passenger cars and light trucks.

United States Market Total Automotive Sales Units Monthly

Below we have a table that shows United States Automotive sales since 1976 broken out by month. This is on a unit basis. This is new vehicle sales in the US since 1976, including passenger cars, commercial vans and light trucks.


Data Source

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis