Counting Cars

November SAAR Best of Year

U.S. Sales Summary table

WardsAuto forecast SAAR: 13.7 million

Current Estimated SAAR: 13.6 million

Selling days:

The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for November finished at 13.6 million units - 1.1% below WardsAuto earlier forecast, but good enough to rank as the highest monthly SAAR of 2011- roughly a million units above the YTD SAAR of 12.6 million for the previous 10 months.

The November SAAR is also the highest monthly rate since June 2008, excluding the August 2009 cash-for-clunkers-inflated mark of 14.2 million units.

Detroit 3 auto makers sold 451,385 light vehicles in November (25 selling days), a 12.1% increase in daily sales over year-ago (24 days). GM, Ford and Chrysler 's combined year-to-date total is 5,399,207units, a 15.2% uptick over the first 11 months of 2010.

General Motors reported 180,402 deliveries - a 2.7% increase in daily sales over year-ago.Chrysler's 106,679 LV sales represented 39.8% increase over a poor year-ago performance, marking the 20th month of year-over-year volume gains for the company. Ford's 164,304 car and light truck sales showed a 9.1% improvement in DSR.

Asia Pacific based auto makers were up a combined 4.4% for the month. Volume-leader Toyota registered its first post-Tsunami year-over-year DSR gain, a 2.4% uptick versus same-month 2010, on volume sales of 137,960.

Nissan's DSR rose 14.5%, but Subaru had its lowest volume month since January 2010, with 17,657 deliveries, an 18.5% drop in daily sales versus year-ago.

Hyundai sales were up 17% on sales of 49,610 cars and light trucks but the company's 1,984 daily sales were its lowest since February. Fellow South Korea auto maker Kia Motors sold 37,007 units, a 33.6% gain over year ago DSR.

However, the impact of the October flooding in Thailand on North America vehicle production for Honda, gave the auto maker a disappointing 10.1% decline in DSR, on sales of 83,925 units. October was Honda's first month of positive results since the March tsunami in Japan first depleted its inventories. Honda dropped to the No. 7 position in the U.S. after finishing No. 5 last month.

Europe based automakers once again outperformed the overall market, with sales up 21.8% for the month. Volkswagen, whose daily sales were up a 35.1% in November, was the volume leader among European brands, just edging out Daimler. But VW's sister brand Audi's DSR dropped 0.6%, the German auto maker's first year-over-year dip in 25 months.

European luxury leaders BMW and Daimler continued to duke it out with strong year-over-year sales results. BMW/Mini were up 10.2%, but Mercedes/Smart daily sales were up 40.8%, giving the Daimler brands a 1,984 unit advantage in November. The BMW group, however, still has comfortable year-to-date lead over the Daimler brands, with both companies' ytd growth results just above 14%. Jaguar Land Rover sales were up 12.5%.

Total light vehicle deliveries were 991,663 units, good for a 9.5% DSR increase over like-2010. November sales the year-to-date total to 11,495,790 - a 10.4% increase over the first 11-months of 2010.

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Blogs and commentary about automotive data, industry trends, and the future of the auto industry.


John Sousanis

John Sousanis oversees WardsAuto data operations as Director of Information Content, and is Ward’sAuto sales analyst. Follow John on Twitter @CountingCars.  

Haig Stoddard

Haig Stoddard is a veteran automotive industry analyst. His current focus is North America production and longterm sales forecasting.
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