Three consecutive monthly declines— and finally, U.S. light-vehicle sales in the month of November climbed 3.6% from the same period last year, lifted by generous deals and strong truck demand.
Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and General Motors registered sale surges in November as a growth in incentive spending boosted the industry back on a winning track.
Industry-wide sales touched a record for the month at 1.378 million, easily surpassing the 1.328 million mark hit in November 2001. Light-truck deliveries, behind double-digit increases in sales of crossovers and pickups, leaped 8.6% in the previous month, while the car market continued to drag, with demand falling by 3.9%.
The seasonally adjusted, annualized sales rate remained robust; however, it had slumped to 17.83 million from this year’s highest rate, which is October’s 17.98 million, and the 18.07 million pace in November 2015, the second-strongest month of 2015.
“That's a great, great market. Any time we're talking mid-17s, that's a wonderful market and a wonderful indication of where the North American economy is,” stated Bob Carter, vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales USA.
A 10% gain at General Motors and a 4.3% increase at Toyota Motor Corp. marked their strongest advances for 2016.
Nissan Motor Co. climbed 7.5%, while Ford Motor Co. ended a four-month slip.
The Volkswagen brand surged a hefty 24%. However, Fiat Chrysler was the exception among major automakers, shedding 14% as fleet deliveries shrank.
Sustained demand for light trucks amid low gasoline prices helped support the carmakers’ results, as well as two extra selling days. Incentive spending last month, including Thanksgiving holiday deals, climbed 13% compared to 2015. However, comparing with October, it was lower, according to TrueCar data.
Eric Lyman, TrueCar’s chief industry analyst noted that the early launch of Black Friday sales events had also helped counter downticks in fleet sales in November.
“The retail sales environment remains strong for new car sales,” Lyman said. “Incentives are also down slightly [from October] as automakers begin to address supply side imbalances with planned reductions in vehicle production.”
Analysts also claimed that steady and improving economic and job growth, and the recent increase in US equity prices have also invigorated consumers to make big-ticket purchases.
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