The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

November 2011 U.S. Auto Sales Up for Majority of Automakers

December 08, 2011

TORRANCE, CA – With automakers having reported their November sales, the majority saw an increase in overall units sold, and a number saw new records for the year.

The Detroit Three all saw solid sales in November, with Chrysler seeing the biggest increase. Out of 15 automakers covered here, 12 saw increases. The following sales coverage breaks down sales by automaker and regional group (domestic, Asian, European, etc.), beginning with the Detroit Three.

Detroit Three


Ford Motor Company’s November U.S. retail sales increased 20% compared to a year ago. Total sales were 166,865 units, up 13%. Ford plans to build 675,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2012, up 3% (18,000 vehicles) compared with first quarter 2011. In addition, Ford said it plans to build 674,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 14,000 vehicles from the previous forecast.

“With gasoline prices continuing to track higher than last year, consumers continue to value fuel economy – no matter what size or kind of vehicle best meets their needs,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.

General Motors

General Motors reported total sales of 180,402 vehicles in November, up 7% compared with November 2010. The automaker said that although retail deliveries were up 15% compared with the same month a year ago, deliveries to fleets were down 14%.

“We are seeing a broad spectrum of customers return to the market,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “Truck sales showed a very solid increase, as we expected, but the momentum building behind our most fuel-efficient vehicles was even stronger.”

In November, combined sales of GM small and compact cars, led by the new Chevrolet Sonic and Chevrolet Cruze, were up 54% compared with a year ago. GM’s total passenger car sales increased 1%, crossover sales decreased 9% and sales of trucks, which include full-size pickups, vans and SUVs, increased 25%.   


Chrysler had a very good month, seeing a 45% percent increase in November 2011 compared with November 2010. November’s sales numbers are also the best year-over-year sales gain this year, according to the automaker.

“With sales up 45 percent, November was another huge month for the Chrysler Group and our highest year-over-year sales gain of 2011,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales. “In addition to having eight Chrysler Group models recognized as Consumers Digest automotive ‘Best Buys’ for the 2012 model year, we also have picked up countless other vehicle awards this year which clearly are reflected in our sales success.”

The Chrysler 300 full-size and Chrysler 200 mid-size sedans significantly contributed to the group’s 45% increase in sales, according to the automaker. Other models that made an impact include the Dodge Charger sports sedan, Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan, Dodge Durango full-size SUV, Jeep Compass compact SUV, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck brands each posted sales increases in November. The Chrysler brand’s 92% sales increase was the largest percentage gain of all the Chrysler Group brands and was its best November since 2008.

European Automakers


Audi reported its 11th straight record-setting month of sales for the year, with 9,700 vehicles sold in November 2011 in the U.S. This is a 3.6% increase over the previous all-time record set a year earlier.  Year-to-date sales ended the month up 15.2% with 104,906 vehicles sold, topping the previous annual U.S. sales record of 101,629 set at the end of last year.

“Having achieved our all-time sales record with a month to spare, we’re confident that the Audi momentum story will continue well into 2012,” said Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen.  “Consumers clearly are responding to Audi’s superior product, unmatched engineering and progressive luxury positioning.”

Sales of the all-new Audi A6 rose 69.8% to 1,379 vehicles sold in November 2011. Also up significantly were sales of the Audi A8, the brand’s flagship sedan, with a 38.4% increase over the same period last year. The sales mix for Audi TDI clean diesel models finished the month at 54.8% for the A3 TDI and 35.9% for the Q7 TDI. Three Audi models recorded YTD sales increases of over 25.0%, including the Audi A8, the Audi R8 and the Audi TT model range.

BMW Group

The BMW Group in the U.S., which includes BMW and MINI, reported November sales of 26,271 vehicles, an increase of 14.8% over the 22,883 vehicles in November 2010. Year-to-date, BMW Group sales are up 14.6% to 272,873 in the first eleven months of 2011 compared to 238,157 in the same period in 2010.

In terms of the specific brands, sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 7.1% in November for a total of 21,521 compared to 20,097 vehicles sold in November, 2010. The brand is up 12.3% year-to-date sales of 221,073 January through November compared to 196,833 sold in the first eleven months of 2010.

MINI USA reported sales of 4,750 automobiles in November, up 70.5% from the 2,786 sold in November 2010. Year-to-date, MINI sales in the U.S. are up 25.4% on volume of 51,800 compared to 41,324 in the first eleven months of 2010.

Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) reported November sales of 28,255 vehicles, which is a 55.2% improvement over November 2010 sales of 18,208 units. The units sold represent the company’s highest November volume on record, according to BMW. Year-to-date, the 236,415 vehicles sold represent a 20.4% increase over the 196,288 vehicles sold during the same period last year.

Mercedes said the highest volume performers for the month were the C-Class and E-Class model lines. C-Class sales reached 8,358, up 112.7% from November 2010.  Total diesel units sold for November were up 136.1 % with sales of 2,097, compared to 888 units sold in November 2010. Sales of Sprinter vans were up 26.1% for November, at 1,045. This brings the a year-to date total t0 14,982, which is an increase 108.7 %. Sales of the smart fortwo totaled 414 vehicles, up 96% for the month when compared to the 211 vehicles sold in November 2010.

Volkswagen Group of America

Volkswagen reported 28,412 units sold in November 2011, which was dramatic 40.7% increase over prior year sales. The automaker said its year-to-date sales are up 25.3%.

“November has been a tremendous month for Volkswagen,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “With the 2012 Passat named Motor Trend's Car of the Year, anticipated improvements in J.D. Power’s Sales Satisfaction Index and once again double-digit sales growth, the proof points of German Engineering and our commitment to the U.S. market are all starting to come together.”

VW said that in its first two full months of sales, the Chattanooga-built Passat outsold 2010’s volume and reached 6,018 units for the month of November. Jetta sales, including Jetta SportWagen, totaled 12,891 units, a 15.6% increase over last year. The 2012 Beetle sold 1,656 units.

GTI sales increased 33.3 percent while Golf sales rose 37.5 percent versus last year. The Eos and Tiguan SUV posted 53.0% and 11.4% sales increases, respectively. Volkswagen’s clean-diesel TDI models accounted for 19.8% of all November sales, and are up 36.0 percent year-over-year, according to the company.

Volvo Cars of North America

Volvo Cars of North America, LLC reported U.S. sales of 4,844 units, an 18.8% increase from November 2010. Year-to-date sales in the U.S. are up 25.8% over the first 11 months of 2010. Volvo said the S60 sports sedan was the top seller in November with 1,786 units sold.

Asian Automakers

American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

Honda reported November sales of 83,925 vehicles, a decrease of 10.1%.  The automaker said its year-to-date sales reached 1,042,055, which are down 5.7% versus last year, based on the daily selling rate. Acura Division recorded November sales of 9,909, a decrease of 11.2 percent versus November 2010, and year-to-date sales of 110,170, down 7.1 percent.

"The impact of the Thailand flooding on our North American production levels continued to be felt in November," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales. "We're looking forward to closing the year on a strong note as production recovers and the all-new CR-V goes on sale this month."

Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America said it sold 49,610 vehicles in November, a 22% total sales increase compared with the same record-setting period a year ago. Year to date, Hyundai sales are up 21 percent versus 2010 in total. Sales to fleet accounts represent 11% of the total sales year-to-date and 10% for the month of November.

The Hyundai Accent and Elantra saw sales increases of 16% and 44%, respectively, over the same period last year. The Tucson and Veracruz saw sales increases of 35% and 36%, respectively.

“The Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, including ‘Black Friday,’ proved to be a very strong selling period and helped us break our all-time November sales record,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s executive vice president of national sales. “With vehicle availability at the highest levels for the year, and with positive demand signals and improving consumer confidence, Hyundai is positioned for a very strong December finish to this record-breaking year.”

Mazda North American Operations

Mazda North American Operations reported November U.S. sales of 18,432 vehicles, representing an increase of 20.4% versus last year. On a Daily Selling Rate (DSR) basis, Mazda said its November 2011 sales were up 15.6%. Year-to-date sales through November are up 9.6% versus last year, with 228,073 vehicles sold.

Mazda6 had sales of 4,292 vehicles accounting for a 53.9% increase. Mazda's CX-7 and CX-9 crossover SUVs increased 7.0% and 39.2% respectively. Mazda3 sales of 6,873 vehicles accounted for a 6.2% increase. 

Mitsubishi Motors North America

Mitsubishi reported November 2011 sales of 3,735 units, down 13% from November 2010. Mitsubishi said its year-to-date sales remain more than 45% ahead of January through November sales in 2010. The all-new, all-electric Mitsubishi i began shipping to West Coast dealers in November. 

Nissan North America

Nissan North America reported November U.S. sales of 85,182 units versus 71,366 units a year earlier, up 19.4%. The Nissan Commercial Vehicles division had 1,238 deliveries, its best month since the spring 2011 launch of the 2012-MY NV commercial van.
Nissan Division sales were up 21.5% for the month, at 76,754 units. Sales of Infiniti vehicles rose 3% from the prior year, to 8,428 units. For the Nissan Altima, the company sold 20,613 units, an increase of 12.2% over the prior year. Nissan said its lineup of trucks, SUVs, and crossovers all showed gains over last November, led by the Frontier pickup, up 37.8%, and Pathfinder, up 26.3%.

“Strong gains across our lineup extended Nissan’s record-breaking October into our best-ever November,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Sales. “We expect to finish 2011 on a high note with vehicles like Altima, Versa, Sentra and Rogue leading Nissan to a strong close in December and into an even better 2012.”

Subaru of America Inc.

Subaru said its November sales were affected by constrained supply and low inventory. The automaker reported its sales were down 15.8% when comparing November of this year to the same period last year. Total sales were off -1.62% year to date.

"While we continue to experience low inventory, we are optimistic about our newest product line-up," said Thomas J. Doll, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America, Inc. "We just unveiled the all-new BRZ sports car that will go on sale this coming spring. We also announced a new small crossover model; known in other markets as XV, this vehicle will come to the U.S. next fall as the Subaru XV CrossTrek."

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

Toyota reported that for the first time since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan disrupted worldwide automotive production, its sales were up last month. Total Toyota, Lexus, and Scion November sales of 137,960 were up 6.7% compared to a year-ago. With one additional selling day this year, sales were up 2.4 percent on a DSR basis. The new models in the automaker’s lineup saw the biggest increase, with the Camry in the lead at sales of 23,440, up 13% from last year.

Toyota said Prius sales were more than 15,000, up nearly 50% compared with the same period last year. Overall Prius sales benefited from the introduction of the new Prius V model, with total sales of 3,545. The Prius sedan was up 14 percent. Corolla sales exceeded 16,000, and Toyota said the model continues to recover from low inventories.

For the automaker’s Lexus brand, sales were 19,458, which Lexus said were the best month of sales since March 2011. Lexus also said it saw a 6.7% sales increase when compared with November 2010. Passenger cars accounted for 55% of Lexus’ sales, according to the brand.

Also, for the first time since March, we had a year-over-year improvement with this November’s sales 6.7 percent higher than last November’s on a volume basis.

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