Washington Area Vehicle Sales Outperform National Trends

R.L. Polk data points (available to WANADA member dealers) from the third quarter of 2019 have some important bright spots for the health of the region’s new-car sales industry. Overall, sales in the region from January through September 2019 are up 1.2 percent compared to the same time-frame in 2018; an NADA report reflecting the same period showed a national drop of roughly 1 percent. The 1.2 percent increase represents an improvement of roughly 2,700 total units, and in almost all sectors, this region is outperforming the national industry as a whole.

Area dealers sold roughly 1.5 percent more new vehicles in the third quarter of 2019 than they did in the second quarter, though dealers were off 4.3 percent compared to the same time period in 2018. Much of that decline can be traced to the drop-off in domestic car sales, which were off by nearly one-third compared to the third quarter of 2018. However, imported trucks, which comprise 62 percent of the region’s truck sales, increased by 6 percent in Q3 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, and are up regionally for the year by 6.5 percent.

Imported cars continue to have the lion’s share of the regional market, accounting for 83.8 percent of the third quarter’s total car sales in the Washington area. Overall, however, trucks continue to show increased market growth; more than 60 percent of all new vehicles sold in the region in 2019 have been classified as trucks.

WANADA is proud to provide the full Polk Data as a service to our member dealers, and encourages dealers who are eligible for access to register at wanada.org to ensure they’re receiving the full suite of online tools and resources that come as part of being a member.

Download Bulletin PDF