November 2014 Auto Sales: A "Stellar" Month
By Jeff Youngs, December 02, 2014
Characterizing November 2014 as a "stellar" month for the auto industry, Automotive News reported that light-vehicle sales rose 2.5% to 1.28 million units, putting the industry on track to move about 500,000 more pieces of metal in 2014 compared with 2013.
Kurt McNeil, vice president for U.S. sales operations at General Motors, offered an explanation for the robust sales, "More people have jobs and job security, their wages are starting to increase, household wealth is growing, and low pump prices look like they're here to stay through 2015."
Automakers and dealerships offered big discounts on new vehicles during the week of Thanksgiving, with many advertising Black Friday deals. Jeremy Acevedo, an analyst with Edmunds.com, told Automotive News, "Clever advertising from a handful of automakers planted the seed in shoppers' minds that rather than standing in Black Friday lines at retail stores to save tens of dollars, they could instead pocket hundreds and even thousands by taking advantage of deals on cars."
Analysts note that big discounts, long-term loans, and sub-prime financing continue to artificially support record new-vehicle sales. TrueCar reported that overall incentive spending was actually no more robust last month compared with November 2013, while the average price of a new vehicle rose to nearly $32,500.
Highlights: November 2014 Car Sales
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) led the industry with a 20% gain in deliveries compared with the same month in 2013. Within FCA, Chrysler Group has enjoyed 56 consecutive months of increased sales, and Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler, noted that 11 of the company's models set new November sales records.
Several automakers enjoyed record sales for the month of November, including American Honda. Audi reported that it surpassed its previous annual sales record over the Thanksgiving weekend, with five more selling weeks to go in 2014, and Mini reversed a sales slide as more of its redesigned Cooper Hardtop models became available. Jaguar Land Rover continues to buck trends, declining 19% compared with last year.
Further details pertaining to November 2014 auto sales follow below:
American Honda--Sales in November increased by 5% for American Honda, with Acura rising 3% and Honda up by 5%.
BMW Group--Overall BMW Group sales declined by 1%, or 296 units. Mini sales rose 10%; Rolls-Royce increased 4%; and BMW brand sales declined 2%.
Daimler AG--Sales increased 2% for Daimler AG, with a 2% increase at Mercedes-Benz far offsetting a 15% decrease for Smart.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles--Across all of its brands, FCA sales rose 20% over the same time last year. Maserati led the pack with a 36% increase, followed by Ram at 31% and Chrysler at 30%. Notably, all FCA brands enjoyed sales increases compared with November 2013.
Ford Motor Company--Though Lincoln sales increased 21%, a 3% decline at Ford division while the automaker ramps up production of the redesigned F-150 caused total Ford Motor Company sales to shrink by 2%.
General Motors--Sales rose 6% for GM, in spite of a 19% decline for Cadillac. Buick sales were up 27%, GMC sales increased by 23%, and Chevrolet sold 3% more vehicles compared with the same month in 2013.
Hyundai Group--Hyundai Group sales declined 3%, with both Hyundai brand and Kia brand sales falling, by 4% and 1%, respectively.
Jaguar Land Rover--Overall sales declined 19% in November, with Jaguar falling 13% and Land Rover dipping 21%.
Mazda--After a month in which sales decreased versus the prior year, Mazda is back on the upswing, rising 2% compared with last November.
Mitsubishi--Mitsubishi reported a sales increase of 8% over November of 2013, with both Mirage and Outlander Sport sales increasing 30% compared with last year. Besting those models, the electric i-MiEV model's sales increased 50%.
Nissan Group--After a long streak of sales increases, Nissan's volume shrank 2% in November 2014. Infiniti dropped by 13%, while Nissan division sold 2% fewer vehicles compared with November 2013.
Subaru--Sales increased 24% for Subaru in November, putting the automaker on track to sell more than 500,000 new vehicles in 2014, which would be a first for the Japanese automaker.
Tesla--Electric luxury sport sedan manufacturer Tesla enjoyed a 69% increase in sales in November 2014 compared with the same month one year ago.
Toyota Group--Overall, Toyota Group sales increased 3%. Scion sank 21% compared with the same month last year, while sales of Lexus vehicles rose 7%. Toyota brand sales improved 3% in November.
Volkswagen Group--Volkswagen Group reported a 10% increase in sales across all of its brands, with the Volkswagen brand improving by 3% over the same month last year. Audi rose 22% on the way to a record-breaking year for the luxury brand, while Porsche sales increased 19%. Lamborghini sales were up 2%, and Bentley was flat for the month, selling at a rate of more than 10 cars per day in November.
Volvo--Sales of Volvo cars and SUVs declined 14% in November 2014 compared with the same month last year.