just-auto authors and correspondents


Bill Cawthon


Bill CawthonBiography

Weekends spent on the factory floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck gave Bill Cawthon a lifelong interest not only in cars but also in the industry that makes them. He has been writing about both for nearly 20 years, following the latest trends and sales results and putting them in context.

Following his college years and a stint as a radio announcer, Cawthon worked in the electronics industry where, among other things, he got first hand knowledge of the original microprocessors used for engine control in Chrysler and Ford vehicles. He shifted over to the literary side as a technical writer and editor and worked in corporate communications and CRM programs until 2004 when he became a full time writer and editor.

Cawthon long ago abandoned winter for the sunny climes of the Lone Star state and lives in Houston where he also follows the petroleum industry. True to the stereotypical image of the Texan, Bill does own a very small interest in some oil leases that provides sufficient income for the occasional pizza.

Columns by Bill Cawthon


US Vehicle Sales Watch

US Vehicle Sales Watch

Every month, Bill Cawthon collates and reviews the latest US light vehicle sales results, assesses the trends, and puts the numbers in context.

Articles by Bill Cawthon


Between the F-Series and the Ranger, which is second only to the Toyota Tacoma in the mid-size segment, pickups accounted for 47.6% of Ford's total turnover in Q2 2020.COVID-19 hit US light vehicle sales hard in Q2

6 July 2020

The year over year deficit in US light vehicle sales widened in the second quarter of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic ruled all three months.


When all the reports are finally in, it is very probable that crossovers and SUVs finally hit a 50% share of the US marketCOVID-19 hits US like a hurricane

3 April 2020

As one who has ridden out a hurricane or two, March bore an eerie resemblance to the biggest storms.


The big winners for 2019 were the Koreans. Kia and Hyundai were both in the black in the final quarter of 2019 and increased their share of the US market from 7.2% to 8%US light vehicle sales squeak by again in 2019

8 January 2020

With the release of Ford's Q4 2019 numbers on Monday (6 January), automakers were able to breathe a sigh of relief: total US light vehicle sales marked a fifth consecutive year above the 17m mark.


Ford saw a 6% stumble in crucial F-series pickup turnover though the model line has accounted for 36.7% of its sales in the first nine months of 2019Short September leaves US Q3 sales flat

4 October 2019

Last month had two fewer selling days than September 2018, but it wasn't the number of days, it was the days themselves.


Sales of smaller trucks jumped 10.3% in June with the Ford Ranger taking sales from the Chevrolet Canyon. But Toyota's Tacoma remained comfortably perched at the top of the segmentUS June sales decline again but there was a surprise or two

4 July 2019

Automakers in the US delivered more than 1.5m light vehicles in June, a 2.6% drop from June 2018, but generally in line with analyst estimates.


The Ram brand delivered the largest increase of any of the volume brandsAnother shortfall in US light vehicle sales

4 June 2019

May brought a fifth consecutive drop in US light vehicles sales but total volume was still high from a historical perspective.


Subaru, which recently built its four millionth vehicle in the US, has now enjoyed 89 consecutive months of sales growth thereApril US vehicle sales deliver a SAAR surprise

2 May 2019

US light vehicle sales dipped again in April, down 2.3% year on year to about 1.33m cars and light trucks. After four months, deliveries are 3% behind the January-April period in 2018. The seasonally adjusted annualised rate (SAAR) slumped to 16.41m units and both total volume and SAAR were well below analysts' forecasts.


FCA's new Jeep Gladiator truck booked its first retail sales in MarchUS March light vehicle sales off slightly but SAAR surprises

3 April 2019

US deliveries of light vehicles were down 3.3% in the first quarter of 2019 as March volume fell 3.2%.


Pickup truck sales were boosted by the Ford Ranger and the brand new Jeep Gladiator picturedUS February light vehicle sales chilled by storms and taxes

4 March 2019

Mother Nature and Uncle Sam put the hurt on US light vehicle sales in February.


Welcome back, small(er) Ford pickup truck. The Ranger, finally on sale in the US again, made a strong debut in JanuaryPolar vortex freezes US sales

4 February 2019

Up until the last week in January, it looked like US light vehicle sales would come in slightly ahead of January 2018.




Forgot your password?