November 2009 Auto Sales Analysis

Many of the major players did even worse than average.

Toyota -12%
Toyota had a tough month in November. Its sales decline was led by problem-child Scion (-20%). Among Toyota's volume models, the Prius (-29%), the Corolla/Matrix (-15%), the Avalon (-23%), the Venza (-18%), the Yaris (-19%), the RAV4 (-18%), and the pickups (Tacoma -14%, Tundra -15%) were all a drag on sales. The Camry (-9%) did well enough to retake second place from the Chevy Silverado pickup, and the Highlander (+4%) was in positive territory. The new 4Runner started off with a bang (+390% versus depressed October figures) and the niche FJ Cruiser did well (+31%). Lexus (-5%) did better overall, with-finally-a good month for the LS (+31%) and the GS (+21%), and relative strength for the ES (-7%) and the RX (-5%).

Suzuki -12%
We were expecting a boost here from the addition of the Kizashi, but that car won't add to results until next month. Without it, Suzuki's skid was just slightly worse than average.

Honda -13%
Big declines for the Accord (-26%), the Civic (-14%), and the CR-V (-11%) really hurt Honda. Acura (-14%) was no help. The only bright spot of any consequence was the Honda Pilot (+3%) and, less so given its small volume, the Element (+17%).

Hyundai/Kia -14%
The white-hot Korean Express cooled considerably in November. Kia (-20%) fell back more than Hyundai (-10%). After a big October, the Kia Borrego crashed hard (-79%); so did the Kia Rondo (-48%), the Hyundai Elantra (-29%), the Kia Optima (-47%), the Kia Forte (-19%), and the Hyundai Accent (-16%). Those declines washed out big increases by the Kia Sedona (+87%) and Sorento (+44%), and lesser ones by the Kia Sportage (+17%) and Soul (+21%).

General Motors -15%
If one were to look for encouraging signs in GM's disappointing November, the best one might say is that, with the exception of Saturn (+3%), GM's worst-performing divisions were the ones the corporation is offloading or closing: Saab (-28%), Hummer (-28%) and Pontiac (-30%). The continuing brands did somewhat better: Cadillac and GMC (both -16%), Chevrolet (-14%), and Buick (-5%). Buick benefited from a solid Enclave (-1%) and an improving LaCrosse (+5%). At Chevrolet, the Aveo (+52%), the Equinox (+22%), and the Suburban (+11%) did well; the Silverado (-30%), the Traverse (-25%), the HHR (-29%), and the Camaro (-15%) weighed the brand down. The news was all bad at Cadillac, except for the 6 additional XLRs sold compared to October. GMC also saw big declines, although the Terrain (+23%) and the Acadia (+18%) were in positive territory.

Mitsubishi -24%
Sales of the Mitsubishi Galant fell by nearly two-thirds (-62%), nearly putting the brand's mainstream midsize behind the Outlander (+17%). The Lancer (-7%) was better off than most.

THE TOP 5 BEST-SELLING VEHICLES (and rank last month)
1. Ford F-series 30,494 (#1)
2. Toyota Camry 27,385 (#3)
3. Chevrolet Silverado 22,101 (#2)
4. Toyota Corolla/Matrix 21,899 (#4)
5. Honda Accord 17,239 (#5)

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