November will not go down as a month to remember in the auto business.
And it shows how the hoped for rebound in auto sales will be much like waiting for a rebound in jobs: it will require patience.
Overall, November sales are trending to be roughly at the same pace as October.
As for individual automakers, the results last month are roughly in line with expectations - not great, not horrible, just so-so given the weak economy.
- Ford: (up 8.6%)
- Toyota: (up 11.5%)
- GM: (up 6.3%)
- Chrysler: (down 19%)
So what can we take away from the November results?
The trends that have dominated the auto business in the last six months continue to hold true: cars are still in demand (especially the fuel efficient ones), crossovers are picking up buyers because people still want space (but not an SUV), and trucks are sluggish as the economy fights to get some traction.
Expect these trends to continue until at least next spring.
For better or worse, auto sales are tied to the economy rebounding. Until that happens, don't expect industry sales to increase substantially.
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