This story contains updated results from later in the day.
Consumers seem to have figured out automakers are prepared to offer their best deals during the industry’s year-end marketing push, which now begins before the Thanksgiving holidays as manufacturers reporting November sales reported solid gains.
American Honda sets new November sales records for total vehicles (up 11.1%) and trucks (up 18.2%) and Acura brand increased 3.1%, with record November truck sales.
“With one month to go in 2019, robust sales of light trucks are leading the Honda and Acura brands to a strong finish, with record November auto sales for American Honda,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales, American Honda Motor Co.
“Based on the strength of our products and disciplined approach to sales, American Honda is bucking industry trends, with record sales in three of the last four months.”
Toyota Motor North America reported November 2019 sales of 207,857 vehicles, an increase of 9.2% on a volume basis and up 5% on a daily selling rate basis versus November 2018. Toyota division posted its best-ever November with 177,764 vehicles sold; an increase of 8.4% on a volume basis and 4.2% on a DSR basis.
The RAV4 led the way with a sales increase of 26.4%, marking a best-ever November; led by RAV4 Hybrid with 10,057 units sold. Lexus division posted its best-ever November with 30,093 vehicles sold; an increase of 13.8% on a volume basis and 9.4% on a DSR basis.
Hyundai Motor Co. reported a solid 6.2% rise in November sales to 60,601 vehicles. It was the company’s 15th gain in the last 16 months. The company’s retail sales jumped 19% last month.
“Thanks to the strongest product line-up we’ve ever had and the dedication of our retail partners to provide a better sales experience, we were successful in growing retail sales by double digits, while keeping incentive spending below industry average,” said Randy Parker, vice president, National Sales, Hyundai Motor America.
Nissan, which has struggled of late, was the exception. Nissan brand sales dropped 13.3% and Infiniti brand sales dropped by one third or 33%.
German premium brand Audi saw is sales rise 20.7% to 20,618 units from 17,082 last November. The company’s increase was led by by its SUV line-up.
Detroit’s automakers – General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler – no longer report sales on a monthly basis.
Meanwhile, ALG, a subsidiary of TrueCar, and a leader in determining the future resale value of a vehicle, projects average transaction prices or to be up 1.3% or $460 from a year ago and up 0.4% or $152 from October 2019.
“Not only are consumers preferring SUVs which are typically more expensive than their sedan counterparts, but they’re also choosing not to skimp on in-vehicle features and content, a positive indicator of consumer confidence in the economy,” said Oliver Strauss, chief economist at ALG.
“Automaker revenue is coming in strong as well, up 2.2% year-over-year, another signal that the automotive industry remains healthy.”
Total light-vehicle sales are expected to come in at an adjusted annualized rate of 17.5 million in November, a touch better than 17.4 million a year ago, according to LMC Automotive and J.D. Power. They expect industry deliveries to drop to 16.8 million in 2020, from about 17.1 million this year.