American auto sales increased more than expected last month, with Black Friday deals attracting an overwhelming number of buyers.
General Motors Co. said that it was the industry’s best November in over a decade.
Fiat Chrysler sales surged by 20 percent to 170,839. This is the 56th straight monthly gain as demand picks up for the company’s Jeep SUVs, Ram pickups and Chrysler sedans.
GM sales were up 6.5 percent, ahead of the average estimate for a 2.6 percent increase. Buick sales rose by 27 percent, and GMC gained 23 percent – marking its best November since 2001. Chevrolet sales were up 3 percent, while Cadillac deliveries fell 19 percent.
Toyota sales increased by 3 percent, ahead of estimates for a 2.1 percent gain, and Honda Motor Co. sales rose 4.6 percent, better than what analysts predicted of a 4.3 percent increase.
Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president, said in the statement:
“Auto industry sales during Thanksgiving weekend were even better than expected. Consumer demand for light trucks continues unabated and Toyota dealers set new November sales records for light trucks and SUVs.”
Ford Motor Co. sales fell less than predicted, dropping by only 1.8 percent, which was less than what analysts projected, of around a 2 percent decline.
Emily Kolinski Morris, Ford’s chief economist, told analysts and reporters:
“By any measure, households are reaping significant disposable income gains each week at current gas prices. With U.S. gasoline consumption of over 360 million gallons a day, that represents a total savings of about $180 million per day now versus September.”
SUV sales are picking up as fuel prices reach record lows. According to the motoring club AAA, the price for a gallon of gasoline in the US dropped to $2.77 on December 1 – the lowest level since October 2010.
Not only is cheaper fuel helping auto manufactures sell more, but they also tapped into Black Friday by offering deals and promotions that now mark it as one of the important days for automative sales in the US.
Michelle Krebs, an analyst for AutoTrader.com, said in an interview:
“Lots of automakers pulled ahead their holiday promotions earlier and maybe it paid off,”
General Motors predicted that the annualized sales pace was 17.1 million, which is the fastest pace since 2003. Fiat Chrysler said that the annualized sales pace for November may have been around 17.5 million.