With November now on the books, the auto industry heads into the final, year-end selling season with a head of still-cautious optimism -- but optimism nonetheless. In November, automakers chalked up another solid sales increase over 2009, this time 17 percent; that's an improvement on October's 13 percent uptick. For the third month in a row, the annualized selling rate topped 12 million units. By comparison, 10.86 million light vehicles were sold in 2009. This month, nearly every automaker enjoyed buoyant sales, with the large and notable exception of Toyota, which was down slightly. See below for more details. And, with car shoppers apparently cracking open their wallets, brace yourself for an onslaught of end-of-the-year sales ads, as carmakers battle fiercely for their share of an increasing pie.
GENERAL MOTORS +21% (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC only)
GM outpaced the overall market slightly, although the company's more significant achievement in November was its successful stock IPO.
Buick was again GM's fastest-growing division in November, as the Regal added nearly 2000 units to the 11,725 total. Still, it's only selling at half the pace of the Enclave (+25%) and the LaCrosse (+20%), but it has passed the skidding Lucerne (-14%)
Sales of Cadillac cars and trucks grew at a nearly equal pace last month. Of the latter, though, the SRX (+36%) continues to outpace the Escalade. On the car side, the CTS (+38%), already far and away the biggest nameplate, continues to grow in importance.
The Equinox (+61%), Traverse (+41%), and the Silverado (+16%) drove the gains on the truck side, which in turn powered Chevrolet overall. Looking at the cars, the new Cruze slotted in below the Malibu and the Impala, but ahead of all the other nameplates, including the Camaro (-39%), which slumped.
GMC again rode the wave of strong truck sales, although the biggest volume increases were in crossovers: Acadia (+43%) and Terrain (+60%).