ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Though it is typical for retailers to look at vehicle sales numbers at the end of the year, the Fuel Institute’s latest webinar, “2019 Light-Duty Vehicle Market Trends,” analyzes the light-duty vehicle market and provides insights into consumer trends during the first half of 2019.
In 2017 there were more than 260 million light-duty vehicles registered in the U.S., and the number continues to rise. New light-duty vehicle sales average approximately 6% of the overall number of registered vehicles. At that rate, it would take at least nine years for new vehicles with the latest technology to amass 50% of the overall fleet.
The winning powertrains in terms of percent growth over last year are electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids and diesel-powered vehicles. Sales for all were up compared with last year, whereas gasoline and plug-in hybrids recorded drops in sales. Below are some observations:
Despite the backlash against diesel in Europe and the announcement by some manufacturers of their decision to leave the LDV diesel market in the United States, LDV diesel sales were up 6.5%. This market is dominated by light trucks (including vans and SUVs), which occupy the top 17 spots before a car enters the rankings. The Ford F-150 and Ram1500 lead the pack in the top two spots and combined for 56.5% of all LDV diesel sales. The BMW X5 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee were the only SUVs in the top 20 of diesel vehicles sold, and the BMW 3 Series was the only car to break into the top 20.
The EV market grew 96.4% to 127,458 units in the first six months. The Tesla Model 3 dominated growth over past year with a 285% improvement. Sales of that vehicle totaled 87,337 and accounted for 68.5% of all EV sales. Following in distant second and third places were the Model X and the Chevrolet Bolt, each of which sold fewer than 8,300 units and combined for 13% of the EV market.
To hear more about where the transportation market is headed and what it means for your business, be sure to subscribe to the Fuels Institute channel on YouTube.