February Light Vehicle Sales
Nationally, February light vehicle sales were down .6% compared to 2006. The February snow, ice and colder-than-average temperatures in the
Market segments enjoying increased sales in February include Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUVs), up 14.1%; small cars, up 2.8%; and pick-up trucks, up 2.2%.
Gasoline prices should moderate as the winter heating season ends. Then, expect the typical gradual gas price increase over the summer driving season, although prices are not expected to exceed $2.80 per gallon at its peak. This should provide a better outlook for consumers who saw prices over $3.00 per gallon in 2006 and worried that prices would climb to as high as $4 or $5 per gallon.
The fall of gasoline prices in 2006 helped increase the value of used trucks, SUVs and large sedans in the used vehicle market, helping trade-in values and strengthening overall average used vehicle prices.
The Economy Ahead
A continued correction in the stock market will tend to moderate luxury vehicle sales, but renewed stock price appreciation should help sales. Luxury car sales are down 2.8% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2006.