A big November for automakers

Damage from Sandy, growing consumer confidence and a calmer political landscape help auto sales over the month.

By Bruce Kennedy Dec 3, 2012 3:14PM

Image: Salesman talking to woman in automobile showroom -- Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty ImagesUpdated 4:48 p.m. ET

Less political uncertainty, signs of a recovering economy and a need to replace vehicles damaged by Superstorm Sandy have combined to produce very good November sales numbers for automakers.

Industry analysts estimate that more than 1.1 million vehicles were sold last month in the U.S. -- putting sales numbers for 2012 at more than 15 million, or what could be the highest yearly sales rate since before the start of the Great Recession in 2008.

The Big Three automakers all reported strong monthly numbers -- with Ford (F) up 6%, General Motors (GM) gaining 3.4% and Chrysler -- reporting its best November sales since 2007, up 14%.

Toyota (TM) reported its November sales figures up 17%, Nissan's (NSANY) sales increased by 12.9% and Volkswagen (VLKAY) rose over 29%. Hyundai Motor America (HYMLF) reported a gain of 8%, its best November since the brand first came to the United States more than 25 years ago.

Overall, the industry's sales rate for light vehicles came in at 15.54 million on an adjusted annualized basis, according to industry tracking firm Autodata. That's up from 13.55 million a year earlier, and is the highest rate since January of 2008. Total unit deliveries rose 15% from a year earlier and 4.7% from October 2012.

"The Black Friday sales period once again provided a strong boost for Hyundai in the back half of the month and helped break our all-time November sales record," said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai's executive vice president of sales, in a press statement. “We were also very encouraged by the strong sales recovery experienced in those northeastern regions that were ravaged by Superstorm Sandy and expect continued momentum there for the balance of the year."

According to the Hartford Courant, a recent analysis of insurance claims now suggests Sandy damaged or destroyed an estimated 230,000 vehicles.

Sandy also slowed down car sales at the end of October as the storm hit, so new-car lots faced pent-up demand in November -- while automakers offered new incentives.

"The fact that November sales have bounced back from a sluggish October suggests that those who lost cars or who deferred purchases after Hurricane Sandy are already getting back on the road," said Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell in report quoted by the Detroit Free Press. "Fortunately for these buyers, they entered a market in which holiday and year-end deals were in full swing and loan rates hovered near all-time lows."

Americans also are feeling a bit better about the economy. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 73.7 in November from 73.1 in October -- its highest levels in more than four years.

"Over the past few months, consumers have grown increasingly more upbeat about the current and expected state of the job market," said Lynn Franco, the board's director of economic indicators, "and this turnaround in sentiment is helping to boost confidence.”

Consumer confidence was also being helped by a resolution of the U.S. presidential election -- and apparent indifference to the contentious financial wrangling in Washington, D.C.

"We don't expect any major impact on auto sales from the ongoing fiscal cliff discussions," TrueCar.com senior analyst Jesse Toprak reported last week.

"Even with all the talk of a looming fiscal cliff, Chrysler Group is well positioned for a strong sales finish to the year," said Reid Bigland, Chrysler’s head of U.S. sales and CEO of the Dodge brand, in a press release. "We are expecting a strong December as the industry continues to recover from the East Coast hurricane and consumers continue to respond to our popular year-end Big Finish event."


More from Money Now

Dec 3, 2012 3:40PM
Repo man will be the next top job growth sector in the not too distant future. Just like the housing boom, standards on loan qualifications to purchase a new car have been absurdly lowered to increase sales. Another recipe for disaster.
Dec 3, 2012 4:57PM

United States, manufacturing shrank in November, turning in its worst showing in more than three years. The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory index fell to 49.5 in November from 51.7 a month earlier. The dividing line between expansion and contraction is 50. Gun sales see record Black Friday. The Fiscal Cliff concerns. Gridlock in Washington. Everyone’s  taxes going up. I don’t feel and most people I know aren’t feeling that consumer confidence you are talking about.    

Dec 3, 2012 4:05PM
'signs of a recovering economy', heard that for 4 yrs now, and it's just as untrue now as it was then and you idiot obamazombies here can tout that all you want, the economy is still in a major depression/recession whatever you want to call it, unemployment is 18% U6, still, and there's ZERO recovery, trillions in debt that we will never get out from under, graduating students still can't find work and themselves are in serious debt, but at least you scum that voted for this bastard obama again will suffer in this nightmare economy along with the rest of us, you've gained nothing and are gonna pay dearly for your mistake, new  taxes, staggering gas prices, more unemployment due to obamacare nightmare coming to threaten businesses with mandates fine and taxes,  inflation etc... and I'm soooooo glad!
Dec 3, 2012 7:21PM
I truly am loving the proposal's coming out of the GOP....Raising the Medicare age to 67, cutting money from Medicaid, the poor and nursing homes.....Lowering taxes for the rich.....I never in my life have seen a party purposely self destruct like the GOP since 2010..... Their actions  will assure the demise of the Republican party in 2014.....Please don't stop Bohner....!!!!!   Keep working for the Rich.....Please.......In 2014 I see a Democratic House and Filibuster proof Senate.....and a Congress that will work for America and get something done.....The GOP days are numbered...
Dec 3, 2012 7:04PM

SRTdriver read and go suck your own butt:


Barack Obama fared well across the country Tuesday night, winning 332 electoral votes en route to a second term as president. Nowhere did he perform better, however, than in states that place the highest emphasis on education.

Of the 10 most educated states,  measured by the percentage of residents over 25 years old who have a bachelor’s degree or higher, Obama swept all 10. Conversely, among the 10 least educated states, Obama lost 9 states.

Here are the 10 most educated states, with those Obama won underlined. The percentage of residents over 25 with a college degree is in parentheses:

Most educated states Least educated states
Massachusetts (39.1%) West Virginia (18.5%)
Maryland (36.9%) Mississippi (19.8%)
Colorado (36.7%) Arkansas (20.3%)
Connecticut (36.2%) Kentucky (21.1%)
Vermont (35.4%) Louisiana (21.1%)
New Jersey (35.3%) Alabama (22.3%)
Virginia (35.1%) Nevada (22.5%)
New Hampshire (33.4%) Indiana (23.0%)
New York (32.9%) Tennessee (23.6%)

Minnesota (32.4%)






Here's some more you can suck on little man.





The 10 richest counties accounted for 1,337,700 votes, or about 1.1 percent of the national popular vote.

In the richest, Massachusetts' Nantucket County, where average annual household income is over $137,000, Obama won by 63 percent to Romney's 36 percent with all precincts reporting. The richest county in Romney's home state is also where, just prior to accepting the Republican nomination, the former Massachusetts governor held a $75,000-per-person dinner fundraiser.

In none of the richest counties was the margin of victory wider than in California's Marin County, just north of San Francisco, where the president won by 74 percent to 23 percent, with all precincts reporting. In Marin, the average annual household income is $128,544.


Oklahoma (23.8%)

Dec 3, 2012 5:34PM
Dec 3, 2012 7:34PM
SRT DRIVER said: you idiot liberals have intellect like a penguin has feathers, each time you open your mouth it's one stupid asinine ridiculous phony propaganda nonsense, you parasitic vermin!
The perfect example of Far Right brain power.........Hey SRT Driver,,,,,each time you open your mouth you show how much of an IDIOT you are......You wouldn't know a FACT or TRUTH if it hit you in the FACE.......    Penguin's do have FEATHERS......  Moron.....LMAO   My picture fits you PERFECTLY !!!!!  LMAO......
Dec 3, 2012 7:24PM

SRTdriver wrote:

you parasitic vermin!============================================================


That's over the top, LOL.

Dec 3, 2012 7:38PM

To all you rightwing whacks thank you for helping elect president Barack  Obama.  The country will forever be indebted to you whacks. Keep up the good work and who knows by 2014 we just might have a democratic house and filibuster proof senate.


Again Thanks So Much.

Dec 3, 2012 6:47PM

SRTdriver Wrote:

can you be an even bigger douchbag bob?? you represent your lefty loonie whacko's very well, meanwhile what've you gained azzwipe?? what've you gained with this muslim bastard being re-elected?? what?? you think the rich will be "punished"??? the only people being punished are the middle class, they're the ones paying for all this marxist lunacy and that's cool with you?? what a fckin' azzhole!!!!==============================================================


Are you really that stupid that you are still calling the president a muslim??? not only are you stupid your also a racist moron. What is it you find wrong with the muslim people? there are over 800,000,000 million muslim and you choose to hate them, you're the scum, good god what a waste your are little man. I bet you piss yourself at night.



Dec 3, 2012 6:09PM
The cost of used cars is too high.I believe it's smarter to buy new.Take advantage of full warranty,new tires ,brakes ect.  less brake downs.Shops are charging sometimes up to $100.00 an hour.
Dec 3, 2012 5:10PM
Hey Classic Lady,

How do you like my new picture showing you Far Right Wacko's....?   This is your old buddy TWIT...
Dec 3, 2012 7:39PM
G M or Obama motors, whatever you want to call them came at the lowest at 3.4% increase, they still owe the U.S. taxpayers approximately 48 Billion between them and their finance company GMAC.  This will probably never be paid back. 
Dec 3, 2012 7:25PM


hehe lookin' at yourself in the mirror azzwipe?? you idiot liberals have intellect like a penguin has feathers, each time you open your mouth it's one stupid asinine ridiculous phony propaganda nonsense, you parasitic vermin!===================


ROTFLMAO  damn,  stop it your intellect is just to much. If you call me a azzwipe one more time I'm going to go tell you mommy.

Dec 3, 2012 7:18PM

SRTdrive wrote:

yea empty azzwipe, see all the neg comments you get? nuff said you obamazombie azz kisser!===


So what? you going for Mr.. popularity? What a little piss ant, how old are you?

Dec 3, 2012 6:52PM


can you be an even bigger douchbag bob?? ==================================


Hey pencil dick your no match for his intellect, best you stay in mommies basement and be real quiet.

Dec 3, 2012 6:56PM
GOP comes out with new plan either you give my 2% what I want them to have or F your 98%.
Dec 3, 2012 5:40PM


Dec 3, 2012 5:38PM
No sense of humor.....lol........just a bunch of angry racists moron LOSERS.......LMAO
Dec 3, 2012 4:14PM
Oldchum could you be more specific what loaning standards have been lowered beside interest rates? Buying a new car has always been easy at least for the last 30 years.
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