Area auto sales: Up 5% in 2014; 15% in fourth quarter

Area auto sales: Up 5% in 2014; 15% in fourth quarter

Like the overall U.S. market, Washington area new auto sales continue upward, rising 5 percent in 2014, from already respectable sales in 2013, to include a 15% spike for the fourth quarter. U.S. sales, which fell farther during the recession and had farther to reset than metro Washington, were up 10.7 percent for the year and 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter. Washington area figures are from WANADAês Area Report based on R.L. Polk new-vehicle registration data. U.S. sales figures are from NADA and Wardês Automotive.

Washington area sales for DC and 11 mostly urban jurisdictions in the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia totaled 77,203 for the quarter and 313,313 for the year. Sales built up in the last three months of the year, from 22,961 in October, to 24,423 in November, to a strong year-end finish of 29,841 in December.

Sales of new imports in the Washington area made up 69 percent of sales just a shade under last yearês import share of 70.5 percent. Imports made up 79 percent of Washington area car sales and 58.6 percent of trucks. Nationally, imports accounted for 54.5 percent of sales a big leap from 2013ês import share of 45.4 percent.

Washington area new car sales were down a bit for the year, by 2.6 percent, while truck sales jumped nearly 14 percent. Both segments saw robust increases in the fourth quarter 5.9 percent for cars and an amazing 25.4 percent for trucks, as gas prices fell to their lowest in years. Washington area drivers usually buy more cars than trucks, and they did so again in 2014 but only slightly, as cars made up 50.3 percent of sales. Nationally, 46.8 percent of vehicles sold last year were cars.

For the complete report on fourth quarter and total 2014 Washington area new vehicle sales, WANADA members can click here and log in with their email and password and go to Member Center then Marketing and Sales.

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