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November light vehicle sales

by Bill Cawthon on

Mercedes-Benz kicks off the reporting with a 19.1 percent increase over November 2008. E-Class sales were up 113 percent and sales of the S-Class and SL-Class also improved. BMW enjoyed a 3.2 percent gain but sales of the Mini plunged 43.6 percent. Sales of the Smart micro-car were way down with just 649 sales in November, a 65.6 percent nosedive. Volkswagen announced a 13.7 percent improvement with strong sales of the CC and Jetta. Diesel-doubters might want to note that VW’s TDI diesels accounted for nearly a quarter of Volkswagen’s sales in November. Audi sales were up 0.3 percent.

Ford sales were essentially flat, just 55 units behind last November. The Fusion set a new annual sales record and car sales were up significantly. Ford brand and Volvo sales improved over last year.

GM reported sales declined about two percent, though sales of what it’s calling “core brands” (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC) were up six percent.

Honda sales dropped 2.9 percent while Toyota sales rose 2.6 percent. Subaru sales soared 24 percent to another monthly record and Subaru is now predicting a record sales year. Mitsubishi sales fell 24.4 percent in November. Nissan sales rose 20.8 percent as a 29.9 percent jump in sales of the Nissan brand were balanced by a 26 percent decline in sales of its premium Infiniti brand. The Nissan total of 56,288 light vehicles leaves Chrysler still in fifth place. Mazda sales grew by 0.9 percent.

Hyundai sales zoomed up 45.9 percent and Kia posted an 18.3 percent improvement.

Results are still incomplete but it looks like the Ford F-Series is best-selling vehicle; Toyota Camry is best-selling car, most likely bumping the Chevrolet Silverado out of second place for year for the first time in many years. Dodge Caravan took the minivan crown for the month, but the Honda Odyssey still holds the lead in year-to-date sales.

This posting will be updated periodically throughout the day as manufacturers release their monthly sales figures. A recap of the month’s results will be posted tonight.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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