Auto Sales Still Look Good in November

Dec 02, 2014 05:00 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

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Auto sales are on a roll, with forecasts predicting that sales industry-wide will hit a pace not seen in a November since 2006.

November new-vehicle deliveries are expected to surpass 17 million for the month, which would mark only the second time since 2006 that the industry has seen that high a rate for sales, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Chrysler enjoyed stellar sales, reporting a jump of 20 percent and its best November since 2001. Its Jeep lineup and Ram pickup offerings boosted sales for the automaker, which handily beat analysts' expectations for November sales.

Lower gasoline prices and a stronger economy are credited for the continued upswing in car sales.

"The buzz around Black Friday helped drive strong showroom traffic but there was a lot more at work in the market," Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations for General Motors, said in a statement.

"More people have jobs and job security, their wages are starting to increase, household wealth is growing and low pump prices look like they're here to stay through 2015. All of this helped deliver an exceptional month and it will help keep auto sales at very healthy levels going forward."

Reporting its best November in seven years, GM delivered 225,818 vehicles last month and posted a sales increase of 6 percent compared with the same period in 2013.

Toyota, Scion and Lexus posted more modest results but still saw increased sales in an unadjusted monthly rate, reporting a year-over-year increase of 3 percent for November. After adjusting to account for 25 sales days this November compared with 26 sales days the previous year, sales increased by 7.1 percent, according to the automaker.

"Auto industry sales during Thanksgiving weekend were even better than expected," Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, said in a statement. "Consumer demand for light trucks continues unabated and Toyota dealers set new November sales records for light trucks and SUVs."

Honda also had a strong November sales, posting a sales record of 121,814 vehicles that reflected a 5 percent increase year over year. Ford and Hyundai were the odd ones out, posting sales that fell by 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

The American automaker has been scaling back and also putting money into facilities as it makes way for new models including its risky but innovative Ford F-150 pickup.   

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