Annual U.S. Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR)

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At the beginning of 2020, approximately 16.9 million light vehicle units were anticipated to be sold in the United States for the year. In July 2020, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) increased to approximately 15.2 million light vehicle units, from 14.6 million units in July 2020, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is a 10.98% decline over the same month last year. However, this is a 6.5 million unit increase since the manufacturing shutdown in April 2020.

The declines were due to much of automotive production being halted amid health concerns from COVID-19. In Detroit, the Big 3 automakers shifted production to manufacturing ventilators, respirators, and personal protective equipment for health care workers and hospitals in response to the pandemic. Automakers could restart production in Michigan on May 18th.

U.S. Automotive Light Vehicle Sales


Moving into phase 4 and 5 under the “MI Safe Start Plan” auto dealership showrooms are open in Phase 5 regions and appointment only in Phase 4 regions. The automotive industry restarted operations safely, with the supply chain reopened on May 11, and Detroit’s Big 3 reopened their assembly plants on May 18.

MICHauto is providing the latest updates and industry news for automotive and mobility companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on the restart of the automotive industry please visit the Chamber’s resource page.

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