Auto Sales Improving

Photo Credit: William Picard

2011 is shaping up to be a great year for automobile sales. April 2011 saw sizable gains over April 2010 and our YTD total so far are outpacing the YTD results from 2010, both nationally and locally.

Why are vehicle sales important? Auto sales, especially light truck sales, are one of the strongest non-traditional economic indicators, according to Mark Sprague, Director of Business Development for Mission Mortgage.  According to Sprague,

“When our national economy begins to turn, watch pickup sales. Many of those sales are to small businesses and entrepreneurs. When they see the prospect for better business, they’re going to go out and finally buy a new pickup truck. This is small business America saying that the worst is over, I see opportunities in the future, I feel confident enough to go out and buy a new truck.  Pickup trucks are bought by small business entrepreneurs who have their finger on the pulse of the U.S. economy. It’s an expression of confidence in the future of the economy.”

~ from The Mission Statement, a weekly publication featuring the opinions and analysis of Mark Sprague, issue date November 12, 2010.

Knowing that vehicle sales figures are important, let’s take a look at the latest numbers.

According to a feature in the Austin American-Statesman, Central Texas vehicle sales have done quite well compared to last year. Combined YTD sales are up over 17% from 2010 and April 2011 alone saw a nearly 10% gain over April 2010.  More telling, the three top selling vehicles so far this year are trucks, a strong indication that our economy is continuing to improve.

Looking at the national auto sales picture, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal showed all vehicle sales are up, with light duty trucks outpacing cars so far this year.

According to the Wall Street Journal:
Cars:      April 2011 sales up 21.7% from April 2010.  YTD 2011 up 19% from YTD 2010
Trucks: April 2011 sales up 13.9% from April 2010.  YTD 2011 up 20.2% from YTD 2010
SUV:     April 2011 sales up 19.2% from April 2010.  YTD 2011 up 21.1% from YTD 2010
Total:    April 2011 sales up 18.1% from April 2010.  YTD 2011 up 20.1% from YTD 2010

Keep an eye on these figures as they are released throughout the year.  If sales data continues to improve, past history would indicate that the economy will improve as well. While the economy in Central Texas appears to be relatively strong, improvements in the national economy would be much welcomed.

To read the complete story in the Austin American-Statesman, click here.
To read the Wall Street Journal article, please click here.
If you would like more information about The Mission Statement, Mark Sprague’s weekly newsletter, please email us at


About missionmortgage

A full-service professional mortgage banker providing lending in Texas for over 25 years. Our main office is located at 901 S. Mopac Expwy, Barton Oaks V- Suite 120, Austin, TX 78746 with branches in Lakeway, Houston, and Sealy. Mission Mortgage has been ranked as a Top 10 Mortgage Company in Austin for the past 7 years (Austin Business Journal).
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