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November car sales set 4.5-year high

Fallout from superstorm Sandy, discounts by the Asian automakers and a pre-holiday bump for luxury brands work in automakers' favor.

By Claire_Martin Dec 3, 2012 2:31PM
Porsche 911 photo by PorscheAlthough November is typically a weak month for car purchases, auto sales hit a 4.5-year high last month and they're on course to top 15 million for the year -- a 33 percent improvement over recession-era sales figures in 2009.

The industry benefited from discounts by the Asian automakers, a pre-holiday bump for luxury brands and buyers whose late-October purchases were delayed due to superstorm Sandy or who needed replacement vehicles for their damaged or destroyed cars.

While dealerships were hit hard by the storm, we reported early on that sales would rebound starting at the end of November. For many automakers, the entire month turned out quite well.

Porsche came out the big winner, with the 911 experiencing a 94 percent jump in sales over last November and the Panamera getting an 80 percent boost. November was the best sales month on record for Porsche in the U.S. Lexus, BMW, Infiniti and Acura also reported significant gains in the luxury category.

Honda sales were up by 39 percent thanks to strong interest in the redesigned Accord and incentives on the 2012 Civic, which was replaced by a new version last month.

Meanwhile, Chevrolet floundered. Sales were flat over last year, and brands such as the Silverado pickup suffered, dropping by 10 percent.

General Motors has lagged behind its competitors all year, and November was no different. The company's uptick was the lowest, at just 3 percent. Part of the reason may be that GM's incentives were a third lower than those being offered by the likes of Hyundai, Kia and Nissan.

[Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, PR Newswire]
7Comments
Dec 4, 2012 5:02PM
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GM's incentives are lower because they purposely reduce production numbers to bolter resale values of their vehicles.  They did it with the Cruze......  Check for yourself.

 

  

Dec 6, 2012 3:51PM
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I bet Ford's numbers will be lower this December due to the Fusion and Escape fire recalls.  Additionally, the Fusion and C-Max hybrids are not even getting close to their manufactuer claimed mileage ratings.   Look it up......it's a fact.

 

Dec 3, 2012 3:27PM
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Chevrolet floundered...   No big suprise. Many of their products are outdated.     
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