CHRYSLER GROUP +14%
Chrysler racked up yet another year-over-year sales increase. What was notable in November is that it did so with below-average incentive spending.
In a relatively stable month for the Chrysler division, the 300 (+17%) nudged ahead and the 200 (-9%) declined, while the Town & Country was about even.
The Dart is now outselling the old Caliber nearly by a factor of four. The Grand Caravan (+42%) and the Journey (+77%) were also major players driving Dodge ahead.
The Compass (-36%) and the Liberty (-19%) continue to stumble, while the Wrangler (+12%) posted the only significant increase.
The big Ram made a big gain, although some said that the Ram's outsized gains came via outsized incentives.
Fiat sales more than doubled in November.
AMERICAN HONDA +39%
Honda's huge percentage increase wasn't just due to depressed sales last year. In fact, the month just ended was the best November in Honda's history.
Honda dealers were told to aggressively sell down the 2012 Civic ahead of the recently unveiled updated version, and aggressively sell they did. With the help of some hefty incentives, Civic sales reached 30,000 units, surpassing the Toyota Camry and making the Honda Civic the bestselling passenger car in the land. The CR-V (+33%) was the bestselling SUV. The Accord -- both old and new versions were sold in November -- was no slouch either, up 83% versus last year but actually down a bit from October. Even the hapless Crosstour (+71%) and Ridgeline (+38%) got in on the action. Not so the CR-Z (-20%) or the Insight (-68%), however.
The ILX became the bestselling Acura last month, but it still trails behind both of the brand's SUVs. Of them, the RDX (+129%) looks poised to overtake the MDX (+2%).
Neither Hyundai nor Kia appeared to suffer any ill effects from their overstated fuel economy figures, as both brands enjoyed a record-setting November.
The Sonata added 2000 units (+13%) against heavy competition, and the Elantra (+28%) benefitted from better availability. Decliners included the Accent (-30%) and the Veloster (-18%).
Like the Sonata, the Optima (+33%) was able to make headway in the crowded midsize market. All three of Kia's small cars managed gains, but the Sportage (-30%) slipped.
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA +13%
Nissan saw its sales leap in November, but many of those new Nissans were blasted out of the showroom with a fire hose of incentive money, as Nissan's spending topped the industry.
Nissan's increase came mostly on the truck side, thanks to the new Pathfinder (+250%) with an assist from the Rogue (+17%). Of the passenger cars, the Altima was flat, but still on the high side of 20,000. The Cube climbed and the Leaf leaped -- the latter outselling the Chevy Volt for the first time in months. The new Sentra, however, sank (-9%).
The new JX continues to propel Infiniti's growth, but it does so without cannibalizing sales of the QX -- at least judging by the QX's November results (+47%). The brand's most worrisome vehicle is the M (-15%), which is selling fewer than 1000 cars per month.
Big gains for niche products like the SL, SLK, and the G-class were good, but a hefty increase for the E-class (+60%) was better.
The ForTwo did much better than last year, but not as well as last month.
Three were sold.