Beating up all expectations, US auto sales drop just 0.5% in November
Beating up all expectations, auto sales in the U.S. market decreased just 0.5% during November, figures from AutoNews Data Center show. Auto dealers in the U.S. sold 1,392,244 cars and light trucks last month, according to AutoNews, which is well above the 1.36 million units forecasted by Cox Automotive and the 1.37 million expected by Edmunds.
A forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive projected sales of 1,096,500 units, but only retail deliveries were considered, not fleet sales.
November sales marked the fourth month of volume decline over the past five months, but also the first year-over-year drop for the eleventh month of the year since 2009.
Year-to-date sales through November are now of 15,695,288 vehicles, which is still a figure 0.4% higher compared to 15,634,467 units sold over the same period of 2017.
The United States represents the biggest market for Mexico automotive exports. According to official data, from January to November, 2.33 million vehicles were shipped to the United States. That figure is 8.5% higher compared to 2017 data and represents 73.85% of total Mexican exports, as well as 14.85% of the 15,695,288 vehicles sold in the U.S. over that same period.
Among the Big Detroit 3 it was Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) who best performed with a double-digit increase of 16.8% to 182,260 units sold. Ford, on the other hand, posted a 7.6% drop in sales of 186,048 vehicles.
General Motors no longer reports sales on a monthly basis, but AutoNews estimates the automaker sold 248,740 vehicles last month, which represents a 1.4% increase.
In November, all Japanese automakers saw their sales decline except for Subaru, which posted a 9.8% gain on sales of 56,782 units. Toyota reported the lesser drop in sales among them, just 0.6% on 190,423 vehicles, which is a higher volume than FCA’s and Ford’s.
Nissan posted the steepest sales decline among Japanese brands––18.7% on sales of 110,513 vehicles. Honda Motor sales dropped 9.5% to 120,534 vehicles; Mitsubishi Motors sales fell 10.7% to 7,688 vehicles; and Mazda’s setback was of 3.8%, on sales of 20,660 units.
Hyundai sales increased 0.5% in November to 57,500 units, while its sister brand Kia reported a 1.8% gain on sales of 45,101 vehicles.
In the premium market, Mercedes-Benz was the best-selling brand with 32,979 vehicles, including sales of its Smart brand. However, that figure is 3.7% lower compared to sales of November 2017. BMW follows close on sales of 31,948 units, including Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, which represents a 0.7% decline. From January through November BMW total sales were of 318,534 vehicles including all of its brands, while Mercedes-Benz’s totaled 319,159. Such figures represent a gain of 1.2% for the first and a decline of 5% for the latter.
Audi saw its sales drop 11% to 17,082 vehicles, while Infiniti posted an 8.1% gain on sales of 14,086 units and Porsche reported a 2.1% increase to 5,673 cars and SUVs.
However, the premium automakers that best performed last month were Alfa Romeo, who posted a skyrocketing 35.9% gain on sales of 1,957 cars and SUVs, and Jaguar/Land Rover who saw its sales hike 19.1% to 11,744 vehicles.