Loose credit and pent-up demand on the east coast from Superstorm Sandy resulted in a successful sales month for international nameplate brands. American Honda reported an all-time record for November, with sales of 116,580 Honda and Acura units, an increase of 38.9 percent from November 2011. Mazda (up 17.7 percent), Subaru (up 59.7 percent), and Toyota (up 17.3 percent) also saw marked improvement. According to Edmunds, incentives averaged about $2,244 per vehicle, down $28 per vehicle from November 2011.
“Going into December, international nameplate auto dealers are poised to end 2012 with a bang,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk. “New products, available credit, low interest rates, and pent up depend are combining to create a strong sales environment.”
International Brands Grow Market Share
International nameplate brands captured 57.8 percent of the U.S. auto market in November, resulting in sales of 660,946 vehicles – up from 55.4 percent and 606,029 vehicles in October.
Asian automakers gained ground, holding 45.9 percent of the market, up from 44.4 percent last month. They sold 524,410 vehicles, compared to 485,384 in October. Together, Asian brands were up 20.5 percent over last November and 19.1 percent for the year-to-date.
European brands also experienced a successful month, selling 136,536 units and occupying 11.9 percent of the market – an increase over the 11 percent share and 120,645 vehicles they sold in October. The brands are up 27.6 percent over November 2011 and 20.2 percent for the year-to-date.
Domestic nameplates finished November with 42.2 percent of the U.S. auto market and sales of 482,559 units, a decrease from the 44.5 percent share they held in October. However, they did experience a 6.7 percent improvement over last November and are up 7.8 percent for the year-to-date.
Internationals Dominate Top 10 List
International nameplates held six of the top ten-selling vehicle spots for the month of November. In third place, the Honda Civic bumped the perennial favorite Toyota Camry from its perch as the top-selling car. The Civic was up an impressive 75.5 percent over last November and is up 41.9 percent for the year thus far. In fifth place, the recently redesigned Honda Accord was also a winner with sales up 82.8 percent over November 2011 and up 38.3 percent so far this year. Other notables on November’s list of top-sellers were the Toyota Corolla/Matrix in seventh, the Honda CR-V in eighth, and the Nissan Altima in tenth.
Although the small car segment saw the most growth – with sales of 220,162 units and up 43.3 percent over last November – the SUV/crossover segment continued its reign. The segment sold 365,710 units and was up 10.8 percent over last November and 8.1 percent for the year-to-date. Sales of luxury cars – a good economic indicator – were up 18.8 percent over last November and sold 93,260 units.
AutoData Corp. estimated the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) at 15.54 million units, the highest since January 2008. Sales for all brands, unadjusted for business days, were up 15 percent from November 2011 and 13.9 percent year over year.