Volkswagen Group -5%
Volkswagen (-5%) did slightly better than Audi (-7%) in November, but the bright spot of the VW Group actually was Bentley (+70%). Other good news came from the Audi A3 (+54%), the Volkswagen CC (+36%), and the Volkswagen Tiguan (+34%). Sales of the Audi A8 fell by half, ahead of a new model, and the not-so-New Beetle fell almost as much (-49%) in the first month of the current generation's final year.
All Mazda cars were down by double digits; the Mazda3 (-12%) was the relative strongest. Only the Mazda5 (+28%) and the SUVs, the CX-7 (+26%) and the CX-9 (+17%), were able to make any headway.
Nissan was dragged down by Infiniti (-13%), where the only good news was the EX (+13%). For Nissan, the positive spin is that core models such as the Altima (+5%) and the Maxima (+9%) advanced, along with the Murano (+1%), the Pathfinder (+2%), and the Xterra (+11%). But more models declined, including the Rogue (-14%), the Cube (-25%), and the Versa (-18%).
The seemingly unstoppable Subaru, which has recorded an incredible string of positive sales results in defiance of the wretched economy, finally took a bit of a breather in November. All three models did worse than in October, but it's no surprise that the newest entrants, the Legacy/Outback and the Forester, slipped the least (both -4%).
The M-class (+13%) posted the only significant sales gain at Mercedes-Benz in November. Even the new E-class (-21%) lost ground. But the C-class (-2%) and the GLK (-1%) slipped only a bit, helping keep the overall decline below the industry average for the month.
Ford has been America's Good News car company for 2009, relatively speaking at least, but the only good thing you can say about its November sales performance is that it's not quite as bad as the industry's as a whole. Ford division (-12%) was slightly worse than average, however, on weakness from the franchise F-series (-23% but still in the top sales spot), the new Taurus (-23%), the Mustang (-24%), and the Crown Victoria (-36%). Bright spots were the Fusion and the Focus, both positive, but just barely. Lincoln fared better (-5%), with help from the old (Town Car +26%) and the new (MKT +5%). Mercury managed an actual sales increase (+5%) thanks to the Milan (+48%) and the Mountaineer (+75%). Volvo (+4%) also chipped in to help.
BMW Group -11%
The November sales decline at the BMW Group exactly matched the industry's as a whole, but we put BMW in the better-than-average category anyway, because its headline division held its losses to just -4%. The 1-series had a very good month (+45%), as did the X5 (30%) and the 5-series (14%). The X6 (-13%) and the 3-series (-21%) both dropped, but the real drag on results was Mini (-39%).