Long-term trends in car and light truck sales

The FRED graph above tracks vehicle sales in the United States since 1976. Despite a substantial increase in population, the general trend of vehicle sales is surprisingly flat. But the composition has changed: The proportion of automobiles (in purple and green) has decreased significantly in favor of light trucks and SUVs (in blue and red).
The FRED graph below tracks the same data, but the series are ordered differently: foreign vehicles on the top and domestic vehicles at the bottom. This reordering doesn’t change anything, but it does illuminate the increase in the share of light trucks and SUVs over cars—which occurred among domestic and foreign vehicles alike.
Finally, these trends hide considerable churn: The automobile industry is especially susceptible to recessions, like all sectors that produce investment goods. But we can see the pandemic recession is special, given that the deep drop in sales lasted for only a short period compared

Federal Reserve Source

Author: RealEstate