OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL – With less than a week left in the calendar year and December totals yet to be tallied, the Chicago Automobile Trade Assn. reports new light-vehicle sales through November in the Chicagoland region rose 7.7% from year-ago to more than 282,000 units, trailing the full 12 months by fewer than 7,000 vehicles.

Car deliveries were strong in the first 11 months, climbing 10.8% with more than 150,000 units sold compared with 149,600 for all of 2011. Truck sales in the period were down 4% to 131,400.

Domestic cars held a slight edge over Japanese brands with 109,536 deliveries through November, compared with 109,092. European brands were third-highest at 32,430 units, up 11.8% from year ago, while South Korean makes were fourth with 31,190, up 9.8%.

Domestic cars held leadership among all brands for full-year 2011, with sales of 115,160 units vs. 110,707 for the Japanese.

The top-selling brand this year through November was Toyota’s Scion with 31,696 deliveries. Chevrolet was second with 31,201, followed by Ford with 31,057 and Honda with 30,403.

The biggest gainer among brands was Fiat, with sales surging 140.2% in the first 11 months but on small numbers: 610 units vs. 254 a year earlier.

Among the high-volume brands, Chrysler led LV sales through November, spiking 40.8% from prior-year. Clinging to the bottom rung, Mitsubishi deliveries tumbled 30.9%.

CATA's sales outlook report, published by Auto Outlook of Malvern, PA., with data provided by Experian Automotive, shows a shift in the local market, with midsize sedans the best-selling segment.

Midsize sedan sales here rose 1.2% through November compared with like-2011, when deliveries were down 0.6%, finishing next-to-last in segment sales behind large sedans.

While the addition of newly styled offerings certainly helped midsize-car sales this year, the availability of more hybrid versions contributed as well.

Evidence that high gas prices (Chicago is among the highest in the nation) influence consumer purchases also was evident in the CATA report: Segment sales leaders this year have been small, entry-level cars, up 0.7%; subcompact cars, up 0.6%; sporty compacts, up 0.2%; and luxury compacts, up 0.2%.

Among the segments losing sales in the first 11 months were fullsize SUVs, down 0.3%; near- luxury cars, down 0.4%; fullsize cross/utility vehicles, down 0.5%; midsize SUVs, down 0.5%; and large cars, down 0.6%.