In an all too familiar trend, November sales were up strongly with offshore brands increasing their market share to 55.3% in spite of robust truck sales that traditionally favor the Detroit Three. They declined to a 44.7% share.
AutoData said the seasonally adjusted annual rate, so-called SAAR, for November was 17.2 million light vehicles – the strongest month since 2004. In total, automakers sold 1.3 million units. Overall, sales increased 4.6% compared to November 2013 and 5.4% year-over-year.
Analysts attributed the strong sales to decreasing gasoline prices, lower interest rates, a slowly recovering economy and Black Friday sales that extended over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Offshore brands sold 720,000 vehicles, an increase of 698,000 from October and 674,871 in September. The Detroit Three sold 582,000 light vehicles.
Among the Detroit Three, Chrysler group had the largest percentage gain of 20% to 170,000 units – good for 1.7% increase in share to 13.1%, which is worth billions in revenue. Following was GM at 6.5% and 226,000 in sales – still leading the U.S. market with a 17.3% share. Ford Motor had a decline of -2% with sales of 186,000 and a 14.3% share, as the new F-Series pickup truck is just shipping. Toyota is nipping at Ford’s heels with its 14.1% share for the group of three brands that cover virtually all market segments.
“The industry is closing out 2014 on a strong note,” observed AIADA President Cody Lusk. “Gas prices, interest rates, and winter weather are creating a particularly friendly market for SUVs and trucks.”