Washington-area sales fall 4.4 percent in first-half 2018

Washington-area new-vehicle sales fell 4.5 percent in the second quarter and 4.4 percent through June, according to the latest R.L. Polk report commissioned by WANADA. Nationally, sales rose 1.9 percent in the first half of the year. National figures are from Automotive News.


Although the Washington area economy remains prosperous, the uncertainty surrounding the federal workforce may have affected residents’ economic confidence and their willingness to make big purchases like new vehicles.


WANADA’s Area Report for the second quarter is based on R.L. Polk new-vehicle registration data for the 12 major localities that make up the Washington area market.


Area sales for the second quarter hit their highest point in May, at 26,308, followed by 25,351 in June and 23,007 in April. Total sales for the first six months of the year were 141,195, with more than half (75,215) in the second quarter.


Second quarter sales continued the trend both nationally and in the Washington area of consumers showing an increasing preference for SUVs and light trucks. Locally, car sales fell by 11.9 percent in the first half of the year and by 14.3 percent in the second quarter. Light trucks continue to increase their share of area light-vehicle sales, now 59.3 percent of the total year-to-date. Nationally, June marked the 24th straight month where trucks made up more than 60 percent of sales.


The Washington area preference for imports (non-Detroit Three vehicles) remains strong, at 72.4 percent of sales through June.


For the complete copy of the WANADA Area Report on second quarter Washington area new vehicle sales, click here and log in with your user name and password.