As 2009 draws to an end, dealers were heartened by news that November 2009 sales figures showed signs of further stability in the U.S. auto market. November marks only the third month in the past two years, including August 2009, that demonstrated neutral or improved sales. Overall sales, including domestic brands and unadjusted for business days, were unchanged from November 2008, but down 23.9 percent for the year.
“This holiday season, Americans are looking for real values – reliability and style at a good price,” said AIADA Chairman and Wisconsin dealer Russ Darrow. “These numbers show that they continue to find it at international nameplate dealerships. After the year we’ve had, November’s results are very heartening. This could be a signal that buyers are coming back into the market.”
International Brands Build Market Share
According to numbers from Autodata Corp., international brands sold 414,848 units in November, down from 463,984 in October, but up from 390,658 in November 2008. Asian brands accounted for 46.3 percent of the market, down from 46.6 percent in October 2009, and European nameplates had a 9.3 percent share, up from 8.8 percent in October. Domestic brands finished the month with 44.5 percent of the market, down from 44.6 percent in October.
Top Selling Vehicles
Six of the top 10 selling vehicles in October were international makes, down from eight in October. Once again the Ford F Series pickup was number one for the month. The Toyota RAV4 and Prius fell off the list, replaced by the Ford Escape and Ford Fusion. Vehicles demonstrating year-over year improvements were the Toyota Camry / Solara (8.6 percent), Toyota Corolla / Matrix (0.4 percent), Nissan Altima (43.1 percent), Ford Escape (51.2 percent), Honda CR-V (14.8 percent), and Ford Fusion (54.5 percent).
As was the past two months, international vehicles again held 10 of the top 20 spots. The Subaru Legacy again joined the top 20 for the month of November with sales of 9,308, up 121 percent from November 2008. The Hyundai Sonata also cracked the top 20 with sales of 8,178, up 52 percent over November 2008.
Americans purchased 228,583 SUVs and crossover vehicles in the month of November, more than any other class. Coming in second was the mid-size car segment with 195,899 vehicles sold. Overall, international nameplates sold 263,500 cars and 151,348 trucks, compared with 114,654 domestic cars and 217,426 domestic trucks.
Overall sales, including domestic brands and unadjusted for business days, were unchanged from November 2008 but down 23.9 percent for the year. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for light vehicles now stands at 10.93 million units, a slight improvement over October’s 10.46 million rate.
Hyundai reported a 45.9 percent sales improvement over November 2008, while Kia was up 18.3 percent, and Subaru was up 23.9 percent. Hyundai, Kia, and Subaru are the only brands to see a year over year improvement from 2008.
See below for a complete breakdown of November 2009 monthly and year-to-date sales by international nameplate.