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Industry number-crunchers RL Polk released the latest vehicle registration data on year-to-date new cars excluding fleet sales, and it's not a good number if you're an automaker from Metro Detroit. Through the month of May, 52.9% of new vehicles registered by purchasers were import brands, up from 49% a year earlier. Retail registrations of domestics totaled 2,554,636 through May, down 7.2% compared with numbers YTD in 2005. On the import side, registrations were up 8.2% to 2,864,409. If the trend holds, it'll be the first year import brands generate the majority of new retail sales. Although this is something everyone knew was coming and really doesn't mean a helluva lot — it's sure to be at least a psychological blow to the big three classic domestic automakers. It'll probably also mean a lot to early morning show pundits and the like who'll now be shouting from the rooftops that the sky is falling — despite the fact it already fell. [Hat tip to Jeffrey!]

Polk: Foreign-based brands win 53% of U.S. retail sales through May, excluding fleets (subs. req.) [Automotive News]


Domestics Top New-Car Buzz Survey [internal]

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